Fertilizer Scandal in Kenya

Businessman Patel explains how the Fertiliser Saga was orchestrated by Kebs chief Esther Wangare, CS Mithika Linturi, and head of public service Felix Koskei.

A fresh development involves a businessman who claims that a fertiliser scheme duped Sh1.1 billion and implicates senior government officials. 

As part of the continuing investigation into the phoney fertiliser fraud, Head of Public Service Felix Kiskei and CS Mithika Linturi—two officials engaged in the product's supply—came up with new information. He also accused the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) and Kebs CEO Esther Wangare.

Kel Chemicals' Chief Operating Officer (COO), Devesh Patel, appeared before the Agriculture Committee of the National Assembly. 

Shortly before his historic arrest, he spoke of a high-stakes meeting he purportedly attended with key national government personnel. He stated that the early conclusion of the conference led to his arrest and subsequent custody at a police station.

The meeting was called in order to force him to provide Sh300 million worth of fertiliser. After a successful import, Patel informed the MPs that he sent the fertiliser to NCPB without obtaining the necessary paperwork.

KEL chemicals boss Patel

He said that he had got his Sh300 million; nevertheless, they subsequently received a charge from NCPB for Sh1.4 billion, which they paid to persons they could not identify.

He informed the committee, "I took my expenses of Sh300 million after learning later that the money was paid, but I do not know who took the balance."

When the MPs discovered that senior government officials were behind the swindle, they were taken aback. Later, the businessman wished to speak on camera, so he asked the journalists to leave.

He said that he was compelled to do the meeting's business by high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, State House, and KeBS.

"At KeBS, an official would constantly stop me throughout my testimony, accusing me of producing fertiliser that wasn't up to par." He stated, "The official told another official at State House to punish us and threatened to close our factories."

"After that, the State House representative did not listen to me through to the end and instead requested that Collins Ng'etich and I be arrested and taken to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road."

"I was taken into custody without being told why I was being taken into custody; I did not have legal representation, and I was under pressure when I submitted my statement. I was later let free by a Sh100,000 police bail."

Patel said that he was coerced into signing a letter confessing to manufacturing and selling counterfeit fertiliser while he was being held by the police.

He said, "I had been asked to compose a letter explaining that I had recalled the batches of fertiliser."

CS Mithika Linturi

Mithika Linturi, the cabinet secretary for agriculture, investigated Kel Chemical's facility and subsequently closed it because of possible participation in the fake fertiliser scam less than a week ago.

The MPs want to request that President William Ruto personally prosecute several of his officials who were complicit in the fraud.

The police are also investigating the scam. Several authorities have disclosed that there is tampering with the investigation. They assert that despite the directors' lack of participation in the story, certain authorities want to prosecute specific directors over the matter.

After learning that fertiliser was the topic of a meeting being held at Harambee House, the owners of Kel Chemicals Ltd. made an attempt to interrupt the meeting in an effort to present their side of the story.

Participants in the meeting informed the Head of Public Service, the chair, that these individuals were subjects of current, continuing investigations at the Director of Criminal Investigations.

The DCI chief was alerted right away to these individuals' presence due to the public uproar and interest sparked by the fertiliser crisis, and they were detained without delay to facilitate further inquiries.

Therefore, should direct any additional inquiries to the DCI, the government agency legally required to conduct an investigation, to determine the current status of the case.

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