Ruto denies part in Kenya maize scam

February 10, 2010 12:00 am


NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 10 – Agriculture Minister William Ruto said on Wednesday that he was ready to take blame if found culpable in a multi billion shillings maize scandal.

Fielding questions form journalists, Mr Ruto said he was yet to see an audit report that implicates his ministry to the scandal where over Sh2 billion meant for the subsidized maize scheme was misappropriated.

“I will be able to respond appropriately once the report comes to me but I have no problem taking responsibility if everyone takes responsibility,” Mr Ruto said.

A report released by PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) on Tuesday, has implicated at least two permanent secretaries and an official in the Prime Minister’s office. The premier has however not issued any statement in regards to the reemergence of the maize scandal.

Mr Ruto is no stranger to the controversy.

In February 2009, the agriculture minister survived a censure motion against him lodged by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale. The Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission is currently going through the forensic audit report prepared by PwC with a view to re-opening the probe afresh.

The scandal involves 3.4 million bags of maize sold from the Strategic Grain Reserve at a time the country was experiencing an acute food shortage and drought.

Mr Ruto however maintains his ministry did not roll out the programme of the sale of maize and therefore he should not be held accountable.

“I want to repeat it for the umpteenth time that the issue of the strategic grain reserve is not a function under the ministry of agriculture. So if you are looking for somebody to take political responsibility I would say you look for the ministry that is responsible for that transaction,” he said.


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