NCPB boss fired over Mexico maize


National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) acting managing director Albin Sang

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has sacked National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) acting managing director Albin Sang over the alleged sale of about Sh1 billion maize imported from Mexico.

Sources at the NCPB said Mr Sang oversaw the selling of about 600,000 bags of maize to the millers without the authorisation of the ministry.

The maize, which was bought by millers for animal feeds, is said to be in a bad state.

The acting NCPB boss was reportedly acting on a letter that had been sent to the board by a former principal secretary (PS)and that no other directive had been issued to stop the disposal of the grain.

“Mr Sang has been sacked in regard to the selling of maize that was imported from Mexico in 2017. He was acting on the letter that had been sent by former PS directing the board to dispose of the grain,” said the NCPB source.

“The CS took the action after he recently learnt that this maize had been sold off without his authorisation,” the source added.

Mr Kiunjuri was to address a news conference at Kilimo House on Thursday last week over changes at the NCPB but the event was postponed to yesterday, but even this one was also called off at the last minute.

Zakayo Magara replaced Mr Sang, who has been acting since May last year.

Mr Sang has been redeployed at the State Department of Livestock. Mr Magara, who is due for retirement from the public service mid this year, has been acting in different capacities at various State institutions since 2013. He assumed office on Friday last week when Mr Sang was leading a retreat of the NCPB officials in Naivasha.

Mr Magara became the acting managing director of the defunct Tea Board of Kenya in 2013 after Sicily Kariuki was appointed Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. With the creation of the Agriculture and Food Authority in 2014, he was appointed as the acting head of the Horticulture Department before he was recently recalled to the ministry.

The new development comes after Agriculture Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri appointed Joseph Muna Kimote, a general manager at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), as managing director of the NCPB last December but he declined to assume office, citing low pay.

Mr Kiujuri said NCPB managing director earns Sh500,000 monthly while Mr Kimote gets Sh700,000 at the NSSF, hence the delay in taking over the new position months since his appointment.