If Muhoho Kenyatta is found to have imported contraband sugar, he should be investigated and prosecuted, President Kenyatta, his elder brother, has said.
Addressing the 2018 American Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit at UN in Gigiri, Nairobi, Mr Kenyatta on Thursday said he has full confidence in government agencies involved in the fight against corruption.
“People are out there bundling my brother yesterday… I have no problem. If he is guilty let him be dealt with, what’s the problem?” the President said.
“We must develop trust in our institutions, that they will protect the innocent and prosecute the guilty.”
On Tuesday, Aldai MP Cornelius Serem claimed Muhoho’s company, Protech Investment Limited, had imported about 180,000 metric tonnes of brown sugar into the country.
Mr Serem, angered by the failure of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to show up for grilling over the dirty sugar imports, also alleged a plot to shield the younger Kenyatta from investigations.
Some of Deputy President William Ruto’s allies are suspicious of the war on corruption and see it as part of a political battle targeting him and his chances of succeeding the President.
However, President Kenyatta warned politicians politicising the fight against graft in government, saying every leader should carry their own cross.
“I ask all of you, please leave politics out of this game and let’s do that which is necessary for our country,” he said.
Already, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has come to the defence of the younger Mr Kenyatta and turned the heat on Mr Serem.
On Wednesday, he vowed to file a protest with the Powers and Privileges Committee.
“You cannot be allowed to go and sit in Parliament and in a crude way, using a village approach, and decide that you want to malign the names of others and get off scot-free,” Mr Kiunjuri told journalists at a press conference at Kilimo House.
“Even if he goes and stands on top of a tree or a mountain and says what he wants to speak, investigations have to go on,” added Mr Kiunjuri.
The CS did not deny the MP’s claim that the company is co-owned by the President’s brother.
He, however, said that the firm did not import “a single grain of sugar”.
“In fact, the company has never imported any type of sugar,” he said.
The CS also had a bone to pick with Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) as he demanded an explanation on why the company’s name was in the list he filed on Monday.
He told journalists that Protech Investment applied for an importation licence in 2011 but had never received communication from AFA on whether it had been approved or not.
As such, the minister argued, Protech appearing in the list of 370 names of sugar importers was anomalous because it legally did not have a licence.
“The information I have, and I have sought clarification from AFA, is that this company applied in 2011, not 2013. This company applied and never received any communication from AFA on whether they have succeeded or not.
“They are also surprised to read their name in the press when it was mentioned by the said member. Therefore, it is a subject of investigations,” he said.
The former Laikipia East MP said that he would not leave his office on Wednesday until he established how Protech became part of the list.
“Even if I will be in office until 12am or the whole night, I’m not leaving office until I get all the facts,” he vowed.
“I have to know how the name got into the list that we took to Parliament,” he said.
Mr Kiunjuri’s defending of Mr Muhoho came against the backdrop of his appearance before a joint Trade and Agriculture committee on Monday.
In his presentation he provided the list of 370 firms.