A senior government official has disclosed to the Standard that at least five Members of Parliament (MPs) are among 30 individuals under investigation over a Ksh1.9 Billion maize scandal at the National Cereals and Produce Board.
The prominent politicians are reported to have imported cheap maize from Uganda and delivered to the national strategic reserve amassing over Sh700 Million in profits.
Also alleged to be part of the scheme is an aide to a top politician, senior government officials and businessmen.
“The people we are talking about are not ordinary Kenyans. They are big shots including MPs. The President has received the intelligence briefing and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti should be on it,” the senior Government official was quoted by the Standard.
The latest revelation comes after it was disclosed that NCPB paid Ksh1.9 billion to eight farmers at a price of Ksh 3,200 for a 90KG bag.
This means that each supplier gave 74,219 bags in exchange for Ksh237.5 Million, a sum that is unrealistic for an ordinary farmer.
Reports indicate that NCPB officials colluded with the unscrupulous traders to mop up the money meant to benefit Kenyan farmers.
On Monday, Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe announced the suspension of five top managers of the NCPB and put 59 other officials under investigation over the scandal.
He added that: “I would not have a problem if they had finished buying all the maize from our farmers first."
At the same time, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, who is expected to appear before a parliamentary Agriculture Committee admitted that Kenyan farmers had been swindled off their money.
Speaking in a conference on fighting the fall armyworm that was attended by scientists in Karen, Nairobi on Wednesday, Kiunjuri stated: “We did not lose any money but I can say we lost the opportunity, which could even be bigger."