Anglo Maizing Scandal-Corruption In Kenya

Even as the country stands on a brink of starvation more twists are emerging in the maze importation deal that has shifted from an intervention measure to what appears to be a mega scandal. Fears now abound that the tax payer could loose billions, unless the well executed cartel is nipped in the bud. The shady deals have now boiled to the surface with ministers trading accusations as to who could be behind the maize importation scams. Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the latest victim of the emerging saga. The legislators said the PM has stood in the way of engaging another grain handling company slowing down the clearance of the imported cereals. They also accuse the PM of favouring a member of his family in the maize importation process that is becoming more of a financial scandal than crisis solving mechanism.

The latest hint that taxpayers in Kenya are losing billions to corrupt elements in the government was dropped by Justice Minister Martha Karua who blamed some cabinet colleagues for the looming food crisis stopping short of calling it artificial. A section of parliamentarians claimed that an estimated Sh2 billion could have already been lost in the corrupt deals involving maize importation. Though Agriculture minister William Ruto has banned all exports of maize by invoking section 30 of the NCPB Act, the rogue middlemen are still getting away with the same.

Once in Southern Sudan, the commodity goes for more than three times the cost compared to Kenya. While NCPB sells the maize to millers and middlemen at a price of Sh1750 per 90 kilogramme bag, the middlemen repackage the commodity and export it to Southern Sudan where it goes for about Sh6000 for the same quantity. The situation is getting so desperate that the even the low cost maize flour unveiled by the Government a month ago has served little purpose as more and more Kenyans join the list of those in need of urgent food rations to avert a food crisis.The situation is compounded by the fact that thousands of maize bags valued at over Sh150 million have been allocated to questionable millers in what is fast developing into a huge scandal in the wake of a seemingly divided government. Middlemen and brokers that the Prime Minister and Agriculture minister William Ruto promised to eliminate in the maize importation deal are reported to be on the loose and more vicious than before.

They are taking advantage of a desperate situation to cut deals with willing government officials denying the bona fide beneficiaries of the imported maize and making quick kills while the government officials are in for huge kickbacks even as thousands face starvation. Initial reports indicated that out of the 144,000 bags of maize given to large milling companies by the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), only 40,000 could be accounted for in terms of milled flour

Over 100,000 bags remained unaccounted for even as the government remains mum on the issue. Some briefcase milling companies with no known physical addresses are said to have inflated their milling capacity leading to a situation where hey were allocated more than they can manage. Surprisingly, no serious follow-up measures are being undertaken by the government to reign in these crooks casting aspersions and doubts to where the government stands on the matter.

A report on the investigations into the corrupt deals associated with milling companies is expected to be handed to Attorney General by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission for possible prosecution. Insiders in the industry however point to a possibility where the NCPB could have colluded with the millers to inflate their milling capacity and therefore blackmailed the government on the issue.

Story by: lumiti khabuchi


7 thoughts on “Anglo Maizing Scandal-Corruption In Kenya

  1. A local newspaper in Kenya has named the Prime Minister Raila Odinga as being a key player to what the weekly termed as mega oil scandal involving millions of shillings.

    This is the first time in Raila’s chequered political career, and since he became the Prime Minister in Kenya in a shaky and unstable grand coalition headed by President Mwai Kibaki.

    The grand coalition government came into the office early last year following peace accord negotiated by the former UN Chief Dr. Kofi Annan after the violent engulfed the country as the result of the disputed presidential election in December 2007. Close to 1500 people died ,while property worth billions of shillings torched in various parts of the country rendering more than 350,000 people internally displaced.

    The article incriminating Raila Odinga and his family in suspect oil deal, which also involved a cartel of wealthy Asian wheeler dealer appeared in the latest issue of the Nairobi ’s publication, the WEEKLY CITIZEN, which is one of the mushrooming alternative press, commonly called “Gutter Press”. The paper is credited for its in-depth investigative report, making it a lethal weapons to the politicians.

    In a page one leading article the articles says.”Towards the end of 2008, Kenyans were forced to grapple with an unreliable supply of fuel and artificial rise in its pricing.”

    On more than one occasion, the Managing Director of the National Oil Pipeline Mr George Okungu gave a widely televised interviews to reassure Kenyans that there was no fuel shortage or crisis as such in the country. But between December 28 and 29th,December 2008 most filling stations upcountry had no fuel to supply to the motorists. Workers returning from Holiday, particularly those travelling from Western Kenya back to the City got briefly stranded in Kisumu and other towns..

    During the same period, a medium sized oil firm called Triton Limited, which is run by Kenyan of Asian origin, Mr Yagnes Devani and another trader Mr Pankaj Somaia was reported to have allegedly rendered legally bankrupt, suddenly appeared in the oil trading scene.

    The duo, according to CITIZEN’’s article have their roots in the lakeside Kenyan City of Kisumu and it is in Chemelil area within the Nyanza sugar belt, where the first few Triton Limited outlets were set up. What was most intriguing is that in-spite of its definite inability to source and service the largest oil order in the country, Triton Ltd, is alleged to have secured the government tender to purchase national oil supplies for a six month quota through the alleged intervention of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is said to have personal and family interests in the oil industry as a major player.
    Triton Ltd beat all other seasonal firms such as OilLibya{formerly Mobil} and She/BP.

    Yagness Devani is the brother to the late Harish Devani who owned the multimillion complex, Simmers Plaza in in a Nairobi suburbs of Westlands, but alleged to have committed suicide a couples of years ago after swindling those close to former President Daniel Arap Moi billions of shillings in tenders scams supplies at the Kenyan Ports Authority {KPA}and Kenya Power and Lighting Company {KPLC}
    The CITIZEN’S article further alleged that Yagnes Devani is a well known drug addict, but he still allowed to do roaring business with the KPA!.

    “Indeed Triton Ltd had no capacity, to deliver on such a huge consignment of oil to the nation, but immediately after securing the government tender set upon sub-contracting the same to its rivals companies at a profit without any actual direct importation,”

    In addition, Triton Ltd, according to the report was that oil suppliers refused to give in to the Triton’s sordid machinations, and this is what caused the brief artificial fuel shortage in Kenyan , which in turn raised the fuel prices even much higher..

    To compound the saga, Afri Global Ltd, a firm belonging to Raila Odinga’s elder brother Dr. Oburu Oginga MP who is the Finance Assistant Minister and which is run by Dr. Oginga’s son a pint sized fellow called Elijah Abonyo Oburu was one of the key beneficiaries.

    After this scam Elijah Oburu had since bought a brand new show room Mercedez Benz limousine 350 valued at colossal amount of Kshs 24 million which he now drives around Kisumu City ..

    Another firm, African Oils Ltd, which belong to the Prime Minister’s son Fidel Castro Raila Odinga was also occasioned adequate favor to profiteer from the scandal, charged the paper article.

    And not to be out done was the Prime Minister himself with his company Bakri Ltd, operated by one Mr. Mike Njeru who joined the lists of compliant firms that allegedly benefited from the tender pool sharing and in turn sold the same to the highest bidder!.

    Raila Odinga’s younger sister Adhiambo is the managing director of the Petro Plus firm that has been involved in bulk oil sales in the high seas, a host received from Nigeria thanks to the closeness of the Prime Minister with the former ruler Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. Libya and Southern Sudan government as donations to finance democratic pursuits in Kenya .

    So entrenched is the Odinga family interests in the oil industry the players advise that it is practically impossible to do serious oil business in Kenya without roping in a family member.

    At the centre of the scheme, says the paper, is Pankaj Somaia, a wheeler-dealer in the Moi regime era and alleged wanted in various countries for questioning on an array of criminal activities.”

    In any oil sale scheme of the magnitude, Triton Ltd dabbed in the returns, kick-backs included run into hundreds of million of shillings.” the report says.

    It is widely rumoured that Devani heavily funded last year’s 2007 general campaign for ODM team an that those who benefited by Devani earl this year were only return ing a favor.

    “Indeed the grapevine has it that some senior Ministers in the grand coalition cabinet drive vehicles donated by Devani early this year. It is also an open secret that two MPs have been on Devani’s payroll ostensibly so that they extend favors for their benefactors as and when needed.” adds the paper.

    Meanwhile Citizen reported that Mr. Devani himself is said to be holed up in some undisclosed destination abroad, but he keep in constant touch with the Prime Minister through one called Collins Odhiambo [formerly of Citi Bank}, and up to fortnight ago Triton Ltd, commercial director.”

    Mr Odhiambo is said to be in big panic since Triton Ltd, went burst and placed under the official receivers as in the case with an array of high placed personalities in the government.

    Another employee who took cover only before the take-over of Triton Ltd, is a Mr Kioko who was in charge of the firm’s operations at the KPA in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa .

    Immigration Minister Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ who has also been a regular visitor in Devani’s office is together with his personal assistant{PA} is said to be working day and night to cover up five senior employees of Asian extractions who were irregularly employed by Triton Ltd over the last 10 months

  2. Someone once commented that the biggest trick the devil ever played was convincing us mortals of his inexistence.I’m in no way shape or form going to smear our honourable non tax paying goverment members with that brush though .This level of buffoonery and theft though isnt new at all .Ithink the thing that surprises us the most is that we place a high level of trust with these bufffoons (seriously i lack a better similie) and when we are dissapointed we shake our heads in disbeleif.Rashid Sajjad and his ilk managed to pull the same scam twelve years ago in conjunction with people we have again voted into power .The question for us all should be how long do we really want to place ourselves in the hands of people who have no interest in OUR affairs under the name of Kazi Iendelee this is more of Ukora na Njaaa iziidi…
    I’m seriously flirting with Socialism as an alternative to capitalist Democrasia…Good Work

  3. What is happening today is the consequence of returning the 1980s – 1990s ex-KANU forces into government. Infact, almost everybody that was in KANU during the Moi years got back into state power via ODM. The sad thing is that Kenyans beleived all the promises of change, that the likes of Ruto, Kosgey, Ntimama, Balala, etc had changed their spots. They were never going to bring change to ordinary Kenyans and now its obvious that the only reason ODM was so anti-Kibaki was because they were denied a chance at the “eating” table. Now that they have access to state resources, its time to make hay while the sun shines. By 2012, Kenya will be in a similar state to 2002: broke, crime-ridden and with no functioning institutions.

  4. Njaamba iria twi nacio utongoriaiini ti ta cia nguku,iraria itari na itheru.Mbeca iria ciaheyanirwo niundu wa gutabarira campaign ya 2007 nomuhaka icookerio ene o ta uria ngirimiti yandikaniirwo.No tutigatuike akuruo ni hinya nigukorwo thutha wa nduma nene iria turona utheri niuguka na tugutuika ogi ota Mwene Nyaga.Thutha mutheri niturihota gutwithania ya kurio na yaguteo makiria niundu wa guthuura atongoria aria magooka thutha.

  5. Dogs will never stop eating and every once in a while they regurgitate the same to the puppies. Our dogs (politicians) do so every five years and we are all over scrabling for these vomit and returning to be our leaders knowing very well that the vomit will be back in 5 years.
    Yes KENYANS deserve to die off hunger until they wake up to the smell of coffee, the elected is the product of the electorate …….. WHY ARE WE COMPLAINING as if we did not Know.

  6. The demise of many African countries as we know has been brought about by ethnic chauvinists who belief in their own superiority. The tunnel vision of some writers here collapses Kenya into a reluctant candidate.
    I give you my shadow to work with!

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