PAC summons Agriculture PSs over fertilizer, maize scandal

PAC summons Agriculture PSs over fertilizer, maize scandal

Agriculture Principal Secretaries Richard Lesiyampe and Professor Hamadi Boga have been ordered to appear before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Thursday.

PAC wants the two officials to respond to audit queries surrounding the procurement of subsidized fertilizer following irregularities revealed by auditor general Edward Ouko in his 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 audit reports.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday after the pair had snubbed previous summons, PAC Chair Opiyo Wandayi warned of unspecified consequences if the duo fails to honour the scheduled May 24 summon.

“The two must appear before the committee tomorrow. First of all, they must give us a good reason as to why they ignored our earlier summons. Secondly, they must respond to queries that were raised by the auditor general,” Wandayi said.

“As a matter of general caution, we need to advise all county offices whose departments are under this committee to ensure that they take this commission seriously. This is a committee that deals with the spending of public funds by various state actors. We are also time bound by constitutional requirements and as such our invitations must be honored.”

This comes amid a Ksh.1.9 billion maize scandal that has seen the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Chief Executive Newton Terer resign and five top managers suspended.

59 other officials at NCPB are also under investigation over suspected collusion with traders on maize importation and fertilizer pilferage.

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