Agriculture secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri on Wednesday said he did not know that a company associated with the First Family was on the list of licensed sugar importers he submitted to Parliament on Tuesday.
Protech Investments, a company associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s younger brother Muhoho, was named in documents Mr Kiunjuri submitted to the National Assembly, including a separate list of firms that actually imported sugar during last year’s three-month duty-free window.
On Wednesday Mr Kiunjuri said he did not know how the company ended up on the list when it was never awarded a licence to import sugar following an application it filed in 2011.
“I was surprised when a concern was raised by owners that a company not licensed to import sugar had its name sneaked into the list I presented in Parliament,” Mr Kiunjuri said at a news conference.
He asked the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) to explain how the name made it to the list when it did not have a licence. Mr Kiunjuri spent the better part of the day with Sugar Directorate officials to investigate the matter, but had not made public any findings by the time of going to press.
The head of the directorate, Solomon Odera, was sent back to the head office for information on how the company was included in the list.
READ: Muhoho Kenyatta in list of sugar importers
Meanwhile, a section of MPs from Central Kenya claimed that corruption networks had infiltrated the joint committee that is probing importation of poisonous sugar. Led by Igembe South MP Maoka Maore, the MPs accused committee members of politicising the investigations by dropping the name of President Kenyatta’s younger brother as one of the importers of sugar.
“Going by the proceedings of the Agriculture and Trade committee on Wednesday, it seems the process has been infiltrated, hijacked and turned into a political war against fighting corruption,” said Mr Maore, who was flanked by Administration of National Security committee chairman Paul Koinange (Kiambaa).
“The truth is that Muhoho has not imported a kilo of sugar under any disguise of those companies. For that purpose, it will look that corruption is all over,” he said. On Wednesday, Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, said Mr Muhoho was among individuals and companies licensed to import sugar.
The MPs said there has been resistance from one wing of Jubilee since the President directed that all public officers undergo lifestyle audit.