Top officials at NCPB suspended after it emerged that they are behind high maize prices

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BY EURIDICE NZIOKA,NAIROBI,21ST MAY 2018-Five top officials at  the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), were on Monday suspended after it emerged that they are behind  exorbitant prices of maize Kenyans have been facing .

Announcing their suspension,Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe on Monday said  59 other officials  have been put under investigation over suspected collusion with traders on maize importation and fertilizer pilferage.“The 59 staff who were working in the critical facilities where malpractices were reported be investigated and those found culpable be dealt with as per the human resource management procedures of this State corporation and in accordance with our laws where applicable,” said Mr. Lesiyampe.

The five managers from the Eldoret, Kisumu, Bungoma, Moi’s bridge and Nakuru silos and the 59 officials are set to answer to queries on how cunning traders filled NCPB depots with maize from Uganda as the board rejected maize from Kenyan local maize farmers.

It is suspected that some NCPB officials, after rejecting maize from Kenyan farmers, they bought from the traders at exorbitant prices ranging between Ksh.3,000 and Ksh.3,200.

WWW.UPESINEWS.CO.KE has since established that some  traders have been paid Ksh.1.9 billion in the last three or so months alone, money the ministry says would have paid close to 4,000 farmers.

The same network has also seen  subsidised fertilizer stolen.

The traders allegedly buy subsidised fertilizer at only Ksh.1,500 from NCPB, repackage it and sell it to farmers at Ksh.3,000 to Ksh.3,500, making a killing.

The NCPB Chief Executive Newton Terer resigned on Sunday with the ministry replacing him with Mr. Albin Sang as CEO in acting capacity for three months.

With the maize scam coming hot on the heels of a fresh Ksh.9 billion scandal at the National Youth Service (NYS), it appears to be the eating season in government.

Investigations are underway to ascertain just how far the scandal has gone.

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