Where is the maize, MPs ask Raila

April 8, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Five Members of Parliament on Tuesday asked the Prime Minister to explain the whereabouts of a consignment of contaminated maize imported from South Africa.

Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni said the maize was offloaded from a ship in Mombasa despite the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) having declared it unfit for human and animal consumption.

“Where is the 6,000 tonnes of maize, because it is not in Mombasa? Was this mixed with the clean maize? Did the hungry Kenyans eat part of that maize?” he queried.

He said the maize was supposed to have been shipped back to South Africa or destroyed in the presence of government officers something that to date had not been done.

A sub committee appointed by the Prime Minister to investigate the maize scam reported: “It was a big mistake to off-load and remove the maize from the ship in the absence of all government agencies responsible for inspecting goods.”

“In view of the sub-committee’s visit to the maize warehouse was handled, we stand by the government agencies’ recommendations that the imported maize is not fit for both human and animal consumption.”

The legislators now allege that the Prime Minister had sent a private firm which declared the maize fit for consumption and was safe to release it to the market.

Limuru MP Peter Mwathi wanted the Prime Minister to explain why he would trust a private firm over KEBS and other government agencies.

They also asked why the Premier did not release the report prepared by the five-member sub committee he appointed to the public.

The committee was formed in February this year to investigate the maize which was said to have been contaminated.

Public Health Minister Beth Mugo said the maize imported from South Africa in November last year was certified as tainted with high levels of aluminum phosphide by the government chemist and KEBs.


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