MPs say son of ODM bigwig in maize scandal

January 12, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Six Members of Parliament on Monday alleged that a son to a senior Orange Democratic Movement leader was involved in a scandal surrounding the importation of maize.

A member of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources Kambi Kazungu said they were not sure if the maize alleged to have been imported at the cost of Sh3, 400 per bag had actually been delivered.

"We however know who brought the maize and we wonder why it was bought at Sh3, 400 per bag instead of buying it locally at Sh2,000.  We are not sure if the maize was brought, because if it was, then where is it?" he posed.

The MPs, who included Johnson Muthama from Kangundo also went ahead to accuse the Prime Minister for the shortage, after his office ordered the cancellation of a tender for a second grain handling facility.

He claimed the tender was cancelled irregularly after the Prime Minister went to Mombasa.

Mr Muthama promised to give the evidence to the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture when it carries out investigations into the cause of the maize shortage.

The country has been gripped by a shortage of maize which has been attributed to unscrupulous traders who had forced prices to double.

Latest media reports also suggested that there was a cartel buying maize from the National Cereals and Produce Board at about Sh2,000, which was later sold in Sudan for as much as Sh6,000.

At their news conference on Monday, the six MPs said the food crisis in the country should be prioritised when Parliament resumed its sittings on January 20.

Last week the government said it would declare a national food emergency saying 10 million people were at risk of starvation.

Already, many families are reported to be starving and the situation is expected to worsen especially for the internally displaced persons after the government announced that it would withdraw its relief programme in February.


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