Thursday, May 18, 2023 –President William Ruto has replaced Kenya Bureau of Standards KEBS Managing Director Bernard Njiraini with Esther Ngari in an acting capacity.
In a notice of Thursday May 18, the KEBS board also appointed Bernard Nguyo as acting Director Quality Assurance and Inspection while Zachariah Lukorito was named the acting Director for Standards Development and Trade.
The move follows the purge that claimed careers of 27 officials including Director Mr. Njiraini who were sent packing over claims of releasing condemned sugar to the market. The sugar had been earmarked for destruction in 2018.
Ruto, through Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, on Wednesday, announced that the suspensions had been instigated by two ministries – the National Treasury and Investments and Trade – pending investigations into the matter.
The standards agency KEBS had deemed the 20,000 bags of sugar unfit for human use and directed that it be converted into industrial ethanol.
“The industrial ethanol conversion was to be implemented under the joint supervision of Kebs and Nema under a multiagency framework. It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid,” said Koskei.
Other suspended officers came from the National Police Service, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), Port Health Services.
Others who also suffered included those in the National Environment Management Authority (Nema), Anti-Counterfeit Agency (ACA), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission EACC.