Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Lt. Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini and several Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials have been suspended over the release of condemned sugar.
In a statement on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei said the condemned sugar had been earmarked for conversion into industrial ethanol.
"The sugar consignment, comprising 20,000 bags (50 kg each), had been imported into the country in the year 2018 and condemned by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) for lack of expiry date specification.
"KEBS condemned the consignment as unfit for human consumption and directed that the consignment be reshipped and destroyed at the owner's cost," the statement read in part.
Koskei said in the discharge of its statutory mandate, the KEBS National Standards Council approved destruction through conversion of the consignment for industrial ethanol use.
"The industrial ethanol conversion was to be implemented under the pint supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), within a multi-agency framework.
"The condition precedent to the conversion were; the involvement of all the concerned regulatory agencies; sourcing a distiller through an open and competitive tendering process; and securing the payment of applicable taxes and statutory fees," the statement stated.
Koskei said the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released.
Other KEBS officers mentioned in the saga include Geoffrey Muliro, Director of Quality Assurance and Inspection; Hilda Keror, Manager of Inspection, Mombasa Port Office; Liston Lagat, Assistant Manager, ICON Nairobi; Reno Bingen, Chief Manager, ICDN Nairobi; Stephen Owuor, Principal Officer; and Peter Olima Joseph, Inspector, Mombasa.
KRA officials suspended include Joseph Kaguru, Mwanja Masinde, Stephen Muiruri, Moses Okoth, Doris Mutembei, Chacha Hondo, Carol Nyagechi, and Derick Kago.
Also mentioned include two police officers namely George Mithamo and Joel Kirui and two Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers Bernard Ngumbi and Raphael Mwaka.
Oscar Kai and Patrick Magut from Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) were also listed among the suspects.
Others are Joseph Maita Mweni (Port Health), lsacko Bonai (NEMA), Stephen Cheruiyot (Anti-Counterfeit Agency), Daniel Ngugi (KEPHIS), Willy Koskei (EACC), and Edwin Ruto (KPA).
"In fidelity with the principles of governance, all public officers are called upon to uphold their civic duty at all times in the delivery of public good.
"In taking responsibility, we raise the bar on the high standards of service that we must all hold ourselves to. In so doing, we ensure that the ethos of honesty, integrity, and accountability are entrenched in every aspect of our work and national life," Koskei added.