Defiant Director Dodges MPs’ Questions on Fake Fertilizer Scandal: ‘Ask KEBS’

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Defiant Director Dodges MPs’ Questions on Fake Fertilizer Scandal: ‘Ask KEBS’

Director of SBL Innovate, Josiah Kariuki, recently appeared before the National Assembly departmental committee on Agriculture, which left its members irked.

The committee, chaired by John Mutunga, sought clarification from Kariuki regarding the fertiliser brand, BL-GPC Original, associated with his company.

This brand had been recalled from the market by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) due to substandard concerns.

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Kariuki’s responses to the committee’s inquiries were evasive, causing frustration among the members.

Instead of addressing the questions directly, he often redirected them to KEBS and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), which had stocked the questionable fertiliser.

Kariuki’s failure to provide satisfactory answers led to the committee ordering him out of the meeting.

This action followed days after Kariuki sought anticipatory bail through his lawyers to avoid potential arrest, a move that was granted by Justice Kavedza.

The bail, set at KSh 100,000, allowed investigative organs and law enforcement agencies to proceed with their inquiries.

The controversy surrounding the BL-GPC Original fertiliser escalated further when Esther Ngari, the managing director of KEBS, testified before the committee on March 20th.

Ngari disclosed that the fertiliser did not meet organic standards, as it contained only 40% organic matter instead of the required 70%.

Additionally, the fertiliser was found to have counterfeited standardisation marks and contained diatomaceous elements.

As a result, over 5,800 bags of the product were recalled from the market. Ngari also revealed that SBL Innovate had fraudulently acquired the license to supply the fertiliser through NCPB depots.

The committee’s investigation shed light on the discrepancies surrounding the BL-GPC Original fertiliser, with both KEBS and NCPB playing crucial roles in its distribution despite its substandard quality.

Kariuki’s attempts to deflect blame onto these agencies only intensified scrutiny on his company’s involvement in the scandal.

In Other News: Kenya Issues Demand To Tanzania After Elephant Trophy Hunting Blunder

Defiant Director Dodges MPs’ Questions on Fake Fertilizer Scandal: ‘Ask KEBS’

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