President William Ruto Suspends 27 Government Officials Over Illegal Sugar

By Ezra Nyakundi

President William Ruto has suspended 27 government officials attached to various State agencies in connection with the disappearance of 20,000 bags of contaminated sugar, which is suspected of making its way into the market despite being condemned by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei announced the suspension of the 27 public servants in a statement on Wednesday May 17, adding that the President had been briefed on the matter.

The sugar in question was imported to the country in 2018 but was marked by KEBS as unfit for human consumption. KEBS then ordered that the sugar be destroyed at the owner’s expense.

It was eventually determined that the consignment be converted for industrial ethanol usage, which was to be implemented under a multi-agency framework under the combined supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

However, the process did not take place, and the sugar was improperly diverted and released into the Kenyan market.

“It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedurally released. Further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid,” Koskei stated.

He added, “It is noted that the Cabinet Secretaries for National Treasury and Economic Planning, and Investments, Trade and Industry, have sanctioned administrative action to suspend the following officers pending investigations.”

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