NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 30 – Agriculture Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe has been arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission over the irregular purchase of maize amounting to Sh11 billion by the National Cereals and Produce Board.
The EACC said that Lesiyampe was arrested alongside the Finance General Manager of the NCPB, Cornel Kiprotich Ng’elechey, as detectives intensified the hunt for other officials.
“EACC has this morning arrested the PS Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Richard Lesiyampe and NCPB GM Finance, Cornel Kiprotich Ng’elechey on allegations of irregular purchase of maize at the NCPB. 15 other senior officials and prominent traders being sought,” the anti-graft body tweeted.
Others being sought include former Managing Director Newton Tereer, Accounts Clerk Caroline Kipchoge Cherono, NCBP Eldoret Silo Manager Kibet Korir, Records Officer Eric Talam and County Director of Agriculture Joseph Cheboi.
According to DPP Noordin Haji, the officials will be charged with the wilful failure to comply with law relating to management of public property, unauthorised spending of public funds, conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office and neglect of official duty.
“Upon investigations, it was established that NCPB spent Sh11,365,879,918 thereby exceeding the Sh6 billion budgeted for,” he explained. “The Strategic Food Reserve Oversight Board had budgeted to purchase 2 million bags of maize for the financial year 2017/18 at Sh6 billion.”
He stated that the probe by the anti-graft body so far covered the Eldoret Depot where the largest payments were made, but investigations are ongoing in other depots
According to Haji, they will be charged with wilful failure to comply with law relating to the management of public property, the unauthorized spending of public funds, conspiracy to defraud, abuse of office and neglect of official duty.