President William Ruto has suspended 27 government personnel from various State institutions in connection with the disappearance of 20,000 bags of tainted sugar, which is suspected of making its way into the market despite the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) condemnation.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, May 17, Head of Public Service Felix Koskei announced the suspension of the 27 public officials, adding that the President had been briefed on the case. The sugar in question was brought into the country in 2018, but it was deemed unfit for human consumption by KEBS. KEBS then ordered that the sugar be destroyed at the expense of the owner.
The conversion of the cargo for use as industrial ethanol was ultimately decided upon, and this was to be carried out within a multi-agency framework under the joint supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). The procedure, however, was not followed, and the sugar was unjustly diverted and released into the Kenyan market.
Since then, it has been proven that the shipment was improperly diverted and discharged. Additionally, the terms of the distiller’s open and competitive hiring were broken, and the necessary taxes weren’t paid, according to Koskei.
He said, “It is noted that the Cabinet Secretaries for National Treasury and Economic Planning, as well as Investments, Trade and Industry, have sanctioned administrative action to suspend the following officers pending investigations.”