Kiunjuri misfortunes soar as EACC pounces on him over 1.8B maize cash queries

Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri
Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri [PHOTO/COURTESY]

Dismissed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri’s woes are far from over. The embattled former government employee was on Monday summoned by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for a questioning session that lasted several hours as part of the proceeding investigations into the reported dubious payment of public funds amounting to KES 1.8 billion for maize supply.

The cash was withdrawn from the Central Bank as part of the Trust Fund set aside for the Strategic Food Reserve kit last year and was transferred to a private company by the national Agriculture ministry to clear a pending bill for the maize bought during the 2016/2017 financial year.

Worth noting is that the procurement was actioned during William Bett’s tenure but the payment was made by Kiunjuri’s reign.

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The anti-graft body launched investigations into the alleged misappropriation after word came out that the payments were authorized without approval of the oversight board, a move that offended the Public Finance Management Regulations.

While issuing the summons to Kiunjuri, the EACC addressed a letter to him interestingly dated January 14, being the same date that he was dismissed from his position as CS by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The EACC has also revealed that they have written to the Foreign Affairs ministry, seeking facilitation of William Bett, who is currently Kenya’s ambassador to India, to avail himself for questioning.