Fresh details have merged from the EACC and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over the investigation of payments for maize deliveries at the National Cereals and Produce Board last year.
Cartels are said to have profited from payments made by the NCPB at the expense of genuine farmers in a racket that saw thousands of growers miss out on their payment.
Middlemen allegedly bought cheap maize from Uganda and wanted to sell it at double the price to NCPB.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions, investigations into the irregularities established that NCPB officials, agricultural officers and chiefs colluded with traders to facilitate the delivery of maize to the Kisumu depot, resulting in fraudulent payments.
Among the individuals who had been blacklisted by the EACC and said to be “persons and entities of interest” and were under investigation is Deputy President William Ruto through his Koilel Farm and 11 other farmers who will now earn Sh200 million after being cleared.
During the period in question, Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri told the National Assembly’s Agriculture committee that out of the 152 individuals whose names were forwarded for investigation, 62 were found to have some “issues.” They will not be paid he said.
The 12 including William Ruto are among the 62 individuals who had been put under investigation by the EACC over suspected irregular supply of maize to the board in order to benefit from a government price of Sh3,200.
Their payment was frozen after suspicions that they bought maize elsewhere and sold it to the NCPB, which had been restricted to buy grains from farmers.
“I spoke to the SFR and they promised to release funds to clear these farmers,” Mr Sang told the Business Daily.
Koilel Farm supplied 6,000 bags of maize for Sh19.2 million and told the EACC it produced the grains from its 430-acre farm in Uasin Gishu.
Should Ruto supply maize to the government?