EACC Clears DP William Ruto in NCPB Maize Scandal
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has cleared Deputy President William Ruto’s Koilel Farm for the irregular supply of grains to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) in 2017.
According to NCPB managing director Albin Sang, Ruto’s farm and 11 other farmers who were also cleared by EACC will be paid Ksh200 million within one week after the Strategic Food Reserve made a commitment to release the money.
Reports by the Nation indicate that the 12 were put under investigation by the EACC over suspected bungled supply of maize to the board in order to benefit from a government price of Ksh3,200.
Their payment was frozen after suspicions that they bought maize elsewhere and sold it to the NCPB, which had been restricted to buy grains from farmers.
Koilel Farm supplied 6,000 bags of maize for Ksh19.2 million and told the EACC it produced the grains from its 430-acre farm in Uasin Gishu.
The traders allegedly bought maize cheaply from Ugandan farmers for sale to NCPB.
It is believed that cartels profited from payments made by the NCPB at the expense of genuine farmers in a racket that saw thousands of growers miss out on their payment.
The Director of Public Prosecutions revealed that investigations into the irregularities established that NCPB officials, agricultural officers, and chiefs colluded with traders to facilitate the delivery of maize to the Kisumu depot, resulting in fraudulent payments.
The agency had in February said six of the 62 farmers had been charged in court while 44 others were still under investigation.
Maize farmers have this year shunned NCPB following a sharp increase of prices in the market, leaving grain agency having purchased just a fraction of the required stocks.
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