Senior managers from the Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) were apprehended on Tuesday and brought to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters on Kiambu Road for interrogation regarding the multi-billion edible oil importation scandal.
Reports suggest that these managers were accompanied by bank officials who allegedly acted as guarantors in the scandalous transaction.
The DCI is currently investigating how influential government officials managed to import massive quantities of edible oil, causing a dispute with local manufacturers and a suspected loss of public funds.
Once the investigation is concluded, the case will be handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) for final recommendations.
The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture had previously expressed concerns about the duty-free importation that occurred under the Ministry of Trade during Moses Kuria‘s tenure as Trade Cabinet Secretary.
It all began with the KNTC which falls under the Ministry of Investments, Trade and Industry getting the go-ahead from Cabinet in October last year.
“To address the cost of living, Cabinet approved a framework to position the Kenya National Trading Corporation as the anchor of state initiatives to create a price stabilizer for essential household food items,” stated the cabinet memo.
“KNTC will leverage on its infrastructure and capacity to help stabilize price swings of essential items that are abnormal and against the public interest.”
A National Assembly document indicates that KNTC single-sourced companies have contracted to import 125,000 metric tons of edible oil.
KNTC awarded Multi Commerce FCZ a tender worth Ksh.8.12 billion for vegetable oil supply, while Shehena Company Limited was awarded Ksh.1.33 billion for edible oil jerricans.
In response to the media’s exposure of the scandal, Moses Kuria, launched a verbal attack on the Nation Media Group (NMG), accusing them of acting like an opposition party.
He threatened to sack any government department found advertising with NMG.
Kuria’s comments were widely criticized, with many viewing them as an attempt to intimidate the media and undermine their coverage of government affairs.
Despite the backlash, Kuria continued his tirade against NMG, resorting to offensive language and personal attacks.