Investigators are once again training their guns at the Kenya Bureau of Standards in a bid to unearth corruption following
claims of corruption regarding a recent move to declare some maize flour in the country as unfit for human consumption.
Adan MohammedThe trend is part of the wider money minting racket cartels running the show at the troubled agency. We’ve established that anti-graft agencies consisting of a team from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Director of Criminal Investigations have been petitioned by a whistle blower in the milling industry to investigate people behind the scandal that saw a number of maize flour brands withdrawn from the market.
Peter Kaigwara The whistle blower has written a petition to EACC and DCI. Kebs in its latest purge flagged 14 maize flour brands that it deemed unfit for human consumption amidst claims that the regulator has taken sides in business rivalry where corrupt officers are bribed to facilitate killing of other competitors. Among flours flagged in the recent crackdown include Ndovu, Prestige, Sima Tamu, Range Corn, Top White, Diamond, Bel’s Organic, Winnies Ugali and Afya Family. Others are Jasiri, Jema, Mugambo and Jodari. An insider privy to the racket told Weekly Citizen that this is executed under the guise that targeted brands did not comply with the required standards.
Henry Rotich In the process retailers are threatened to ensure that all the flagged brands are immediately removed from the shelves. However it is the timing of banning the products that raised eyebrows given that the crackdown is always conducted ahead of the December and Easter festive seasons when the sale of the products are expected to rise. Interestingly, in some instances such alerts have always been followed by apologetic notes from the somebody before the flagged items find their way back to the shelves.
Geoffrey MuriiraApparently, it is against this background that the agency was quick to note that such bans were not permanent. Top management at Kebs in the racket that involves millers out to control the market are Adan Mohammed (director finance and strategy), Peter Kaigwara (director market surveillance) and Henry Rotich who is the director of metrology and testing. Geoffrey Muriira, director quality and assurance is part of the cartel according to the petition addressed to EACC, DCI and copied to media houses.
Bernard NjirainiAt one point, a communication manager at Kebs Zeyena Abdullah was also linked to the cartels causing havoc at the agency. She is said to be related to Mombasa Maize Millers and that is why Mombasa Millers brand are well protected at Kebs. It is imperative to note that MD Benard Njiraini was arrested in July 2020 over allegations of bribery barely months after he was appointed to head the badly painted state corporation. During his dramatic arrest, the officers from EACC whisked him to Integrity Centre for questioning.
Charles Ongwae The agency appears to be jinxed as his predecessor Charles Ongwae was also facing abuse of office charges by the time Njiraini was controversially installed into the office. The former MD was arrested and charged alongside 14 others in a tax evasion swoop by the Kenya Revenue Authority. However Njiraini’s appointment at the state corporation elicited uproar and protests from those who felt that he was favoured by the then trade cabinet secretary Peter Munya.