Legal action will be taken against National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) officials who misused maize farmers’ money, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of the 2018 International Trade Fair in Nairobi, Uhuru said money had been set aside to pay maize farmers but regretted that it had not been used prudently.
“The money that was set aside to pay maize farmers was in our budget, but the NCPB liaised with traders to embezzle these funds. I warn them that the full arm of the law will see that they pay for their corrupt actions,” said Uhuru.
He added that any money given by the Government strictly belonged to the citizens and that no one had the right to waste it.
Former Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe and a number of officials of the NCPB are facing charges in court over the Sh5.6 billion maize purchase scandal.
The theme of the show, which is being held at the Jamhuri Grounds, is “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade” and is in line with Uhuru’s Big Four agenda.
The President, in his keynote speech, asked dealers and millers to reduce maize prices to give consumers a reprieve as part of their social responsibility.
He said maize production this year had increased by 12 per cent, with 56 million bags being available for consumption.
The excess of 4 million bags (as compared to last year’s 52 million) will subsequently contribute to a reduction in maize prices amid calls by leaders to have flour prices remain constant.
The President also highlighted new policies that, he said, the Government was set to implement to boost the agriculture sector.
The policies include preparing e-registration of all farmers, increasing production of blended maize flour and in fisheries; investments and creation of a State department in agricultural research that will be under the Agriculture Ministry to come up with innovative techniques.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko warned unscrupulous business people against not lowering unga prices. He said Ndakaini Dam legally belonged to Nairobi. “…we have the title deeds to prove that it is legally ours,” he said.