Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri spent the better part of Monday, January 20, afternoon at the Ethics Anti Corruption Commission, facing questions over an alleged Ksh1.8 billion illegal payment for maize supply.
Kiunjuri was reportedly summoned by the agency on January 14, the very day he was fired by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Standard, on Tuesday, January 21, reported that the money was withdrawn from the accounts of the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund at Central Bank in 2019.
The ministry, then under Kiunjuri, transferred the money to a private company dubbing it as payment for a pending bill for maize bought in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Procurement of the maize was, however, done under William Bett tenure, Kiunjuri's predecessor.
EACC initiated investigations into the issue after reports emerged, alleging that officials at the ministry approved the payment without the consent of the oversight board and contrary to the Public Finance Management Regulations, 2015.
Former Agriculture PS, Richard Lesiyampe was also grilled by the agency. EACC CEO, Twalib Mbarak, further wrote to Foreign Affairs CS Raychelle Omamo, requesting her to facilitate Bett's appearance for grilling, as he currently is Kenya's ambassador to India.
On Friday, September 13, People Daily reported that while appearing before the National Assembly to answer questions on the illegal expenditure, Kiunjuri denied the allegations.
He further argued that it was done after a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who ordered them to clear pending bills to various organisations.
Peter Munya replaced Mwangi Kiunjuri as Agriculture CS on January 14, 2020.
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