KENYA – Top officials within the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) are now on the radar after Members of Parliament called for a special audit on the allegation of fake fertilizer nationwide.

The National Assembly Public Investment Committee on Commercial Affairs and Energy has directed the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an audit within one month which is set to recommend prosecution of individuals in the scandal.

The audit will seek to ascertain whether top officials within KEBS colluded with individuals involved in the scandal and whether they lost their guard in protecting the consumers from harmful substances.

“We need to understand KEBS’s batching mechanism to determine if they are merely passive, only providing approval to manufacturers and then leaving it at that. If that’s the case, then we, as Kenyans, are doomed,” said Pokot South MP David Pkosing, Chair of the Committee.

This came amidst calls by the Committee members for the resignation of high-ranking officials within KEBS to pave the way for investigations.

“Given the magnitude of this fraud, have you contemplated holding KEBS accountable for the scandal? Would you be willing to resign to allow for a thorough investigation?” remarked Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.

MPs have sought answers on the Memorandum of Understanding between the SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited and NCPB in the fake fertilizer distribution that has hoodwinked farmers ahead of the planting season.

Lawmakers raised concerns that individuals involved took advantage of the loopholes in the KEBS distribution chain which exposed farmers to fake fertilizer.

The Special audit report will also seek findings on the track and trace mechanisms by KEBS in a bid to recall all the fake fertilizers in the market distributed by NCPB.

KEBS Managing Director Esther Ngari had told MPs the fake fertilizer distribution scandal is under investigation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution seized of the matter for prosecution.

We have written to the ODPP on the matter and given all the documents we have from our investigation courtesy of our surveillance,” Ngari stated.

However, MPs raised questions on why the culpable individuals in the scandal have not been arrested weeks after KEBS flagged the issue.

KEBS MD allayed fears that the fake fertilizer was still in distribution saying their surveillance team had seized the fake product in the NCPB stores curtailing their distribution.

“We have seized all the products that were in circulation from NCPB and given instructions to the firm to do a recall to all the products in the market,” Ngari assured.

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