Cereals Board opens doors for KACC

April 5, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5 – The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) will immediately begin an inspection of the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to probe its operations.

The exercise would be conducted at the invitation of the cereals board and would last between 30 and 45 days.

KACC Director Patrick Lumumba said on Tuesday that the exercise would probe the laws that established NCPB, structures and systems under which it operated and the way it discharged its mandate.

“It is true to say that this organisation has in the past had scandals relating to maize but what we want to do is to ensure that if there were scandals in the past, going forward such scandals are eliminated,” Prof Lumumba stated.

He said that this was also aimed at reducing corruption at the board which has in the past been involved in scandals like the maize scam.

“Sometimes when one goes to a doctor for general examination, it may very well be discovered that you have cancer. If it is cancer it will be dealt with as it should be, firmly and swiftly,” he warned.

“That is not our intention but if in the process of examination, some criminality is revealed, it will be dealt with in accordance with the law but we are not going there like Draculas looking for blood,” he said.

In 2009, a multi billion shilling maize scandal came to the public limelight forcing two senior officials at the Prime Ministers office to resign.

The scam was reported in 2008 when the government initiated the subsidised maize scheme to mitigate hunger that had ravaged over 10 million Kenyans. However the program was dogged with corruption allegations and inefficiencies.

Five top officials of the National Cereals and Produce Board that was driving the project were also named as key culpable suspects in the scam by a damning report released by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

The officers at the NCPB were said to have sidestepped procedures and allocated thousands of bags of maize to companies unprocedurally.

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