Vocal Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter on October 26 sensationally linked Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri to a fresh fertilizer scandal which he claims brewed in February this year.
Speaking at Parliament Buildings, Keter alleged that public funds have been plundered during Kiunjuri’s stint at Kilimo House, allegations which will further compund on the cabinet secretary’s woes.
“Some of these payments were done when he was at the ministry. The fertilizer scandal happened early this year, he was CS at the time. He has records of everything that happens there. Let him stop beating around the bush and tell us who the cartels at the ministry are,” said Keter.
This comes in the backdrop of two stern warnings to Kiunjuri by President Uhuru Kenyatta who has ordered him to investigate the circumstances under which well-connected individuals and traders were paid millions of shillings at the expense of small scale farmers.
Keter said that Kiunjuri should heed to the president’s orders and shame the unscrupulous traders.
He once again reiterated his stance that operations at the Ministry of Agriculture and by extension, the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) are driven by cartels.
“There are cartels in the ministry, let him crack the whip. We want to know the names of the people involved in the scam, those who bought the maize and those who facilitated the process,” said Keter.
The youthful MP alleges that the traders who benefitted from the Ksh7 billion scandal are plotting a cover up.
According to Keter, the scheme involves the traders convincing farmers to “diversify” because of the problems plaguing NCPB at the moment so that they themselves can import maize from foreign countries having created an artificial shortage.
“The traders are now confirming our worst fears with their attempted cover up. The people who benefitted from the Ksh7 billion scam are brokers who did not supply anything to NCPB and that is why they are deflecting from the main issues saying that the maize in NCPB depots is spoilt,” claimed Keter.
Keter further alleged that the ministry has in the past few weeks been importing wheat while farmers in Narok, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu are incurring post-harvest losses.
“The looting at NCPB is systematic. By the time you release money from the treasury to NCPB and then someone gives a directive that the money should be wired to the Kisumu depot and for some reason well connected traders rush there and are paid, it is because they are familiar with the intricate scheme,” said Keter.
He further warned that the perennial looting and will continue unless the vice is reined in.