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Economy

Acting Kebs boss spared jail over fertiliser probe

Bernard Munene Nguyo
Kebs acting managing director Bernard Munene Nguyo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The acting managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) was spared a jail sentence or a fine after he committed to carry out fresh mercury tests on fertiliser shipped into Kenya two years ago.

Bernard Munene Nguyo had been summoned to appear in court to explain why he should not be jailed for defying a court order to re-test the fertiliser imported in November 2017 by OCP (K).

Senior principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot pardoned him for his defiance of the court after Mr Nguyo sought time and facilitation for the tests.

The court directed that the retesting to be done on March 26 and 27.

Formers Kebs MD Charles Ongwae and other government officials are accused of unlawfully releasing to OCP-K Limited, 5,846,000 kilogrammes of substandard compound fertiliser which contained mercury.

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Some of the fertiliser is being held at Ballore Transport and Logistics' warehouse in Mombasa, awaiting establishment of whether it contains the chemical element.

The accused petitioned the court for re-testing.

When Mr Nguyo skipped court on Tuesday and sent his lawyer to represent him, Mr Cheruiyot warned that he would issue a warrant for his arrest if the acting MD did not appear yesterday.

Mr Nguyo was summoned last week to explain the breach of an order on the fresh sampling and testing of the fertiliser.

The lawyer explained that Mr Nguyo was yet to be served with the summons but had received a letter from Senior Counsel Paul Muite explaining why he was required in court.

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