PAC chair to unearth cartels behind maize subsidy
The Public Accounts Committee Chairman James Opiyo Wandayi has threatened to unearth cartels behind the maize subsidy.
Wandayi said he will not allow Kenyans to suffer under the hands of Jubilee Administration but make public the cartels and companies involved in the controversial maize subsidy.
He vowed to unearth the mega grafts in the previous government including the maize subsidy scheme he claims has been facilitated by cartels close to the ruling government.
Addressing journalist on Tuesday at Tingare in Ugunja Wandayi claimed that plan to import maize from Mexico to cushion hunger was mooted by the government to loot public coffers.
The lawmaker added that there are plans being created by the government to loot public funds by the abrupt end of subsidized maize.
Wandayi said the government must come clean on the issue of subsidized maize before the Public Accounts Committee swings into action.
“We must know how the public money was spent on the maize subsidy and cartels that swindled funds meant for the programme that has ended abruptly without mitigating hunger,” Wandayi said.
The PAC chair said he is devoted to ending corrupt deals that had previously hampered service delivery in the country.
The MP revealed that the already pocketed Sh8 million by miller cartels must be returned back to the public coffers with immediate effect.
He regretted that the Jubilee government is covering up such corrupt dealers while citizens continue to languish in abject poverty.
The MP’s remark comes barely few weeks after the release of National Statistician report by Financial Standard.
The report showed that the Government paid importers at least Sh27 billion for 7.5 million bags that they imported from Mexico in the first phase of the subsidy programme which ended on September 30, 2017.
This means that the subsidy programme in the first phase cost taxpayers at least Sh9.7 billion after the Government paid importers Sh3, 600 for each bag of maize and sold the same to millers at Sh2, 300.
It’s also alleged that 2.5 million bags that shortfall during the said importation might have been sneaked through the duty-free import of white maize from Mexico.
The maize flour subsidy programme has come to an end with the price of a two-kilogram packet in some supermarkets adjusted to Sh130.
With the influx of the maize flour praises, others think profiteers have taken advantage of a crisis to fleece Kenyans billions of shillings.
Data in the latest Quarterly Balance of Payments by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that raw maize valued at Sh27.6 billion was imported into the country between April 2017 and September 2017.
However, the Financial Standard estimate that the white and yellow maize valued at Sh19.6 billion was supposed to enter the country through the duty-free window.
Under the duty-free regime set in motion on April 13, 2017, private individuals and agencies were allowed to import into the country five million bags of non-GMO white maize.
Although the data are given by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) does not differentiate between white and yellow maize, we estimate that not more than Sh3.6 billion worth of yellow of maize would have been imported during this period.
This means that under the duty-free regime the country should have imported by end of September 2017, yellow maize valued at Sh3.6 billion and white maize valued at Sh16 billion.