NCPB sacks two top chiefs over Sh1.9b maize scandal

Two top National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) officials—general manager(Finance) and Finance manager— have been sent home over the Sh1.9 million maize scam even as it emerged that the Agriculture ministry is yet to launch a forensic audit on the matter.

Yesterday, NCPB acting chief executive officer Albin Sang  told the National Assembly Public Investments Committee (PIC)  that  Cornel Ngelechey (General Manager, Finance) and John Gichuru (Finance Manager) were sent on compulsory leave on Monday.

He said this was to allow investigations into the scam, adding that he commissioned an internal audit over the scandal and also wrote to the ministry to send a team of external auditors to investigate the matter.

“There is a team that was sent by the ministry. I have been seeing them around,” said Sang. At the same time, the team was shocked to hear that three weeks after the scandal was unearthed, the ministry has not yet asked the Auditor General  to arrest the culprits behind the scandal.

The  MPs  said  the Auditor   General should probe companies and individuals who delivered maize to the board during the period under review to determine whether the money paid out match with the amount of maize delivered.

“We have also taken the responsibility to invite the Auditor General to conduct a special audit into  the maize scandal as we don’t want taxpayers to continue losing money at NCPB,” committee chairman Abdulswamad Nassir said.

He said the committee will raise the concerns with the Agriculture ministry to establish why  the Auditor  General had not been invited to launch a probe on the  scam even after the matter was made public.

However, the board Managing Auditor Peter Rugera told the committee that the board is yet to receive a request either from the board or the ministry to conduct a special audit in regards to the maize scandal.

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