The unraveling corruption scandals are disturbing to the conscience of the Nation. Evidently, there is systemic problem with public institutions at the forefront of abetting fraud, looting and outright theft of public resources. Stealing now threatens the very constitutional foundation of the right to life and therefore national security of the people of Kenya.

Whereas the President’s public declaration of war against the vice is welcome, it is time to walk the talk by instituting extreme and long-lasting measures.

The on-going investigations and intended prosecutions are limited in scope to third-tier culprits. They will not provide satisfactory deterrence to guarantee the country’s safety from purveyors of death. More pro-active interventions must therefore be taken to slay this systemic catastrophe of corruption without prejudicing the on-going parallel criminal proceedings.

We therefore recommend that the President appoints a Judicial Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, Chapter 102 of the Laws of Kenya. Section 3 of the said law empowers the President to appoint a commission to inquire into the conduct of any public officer or the conduct or management of any public body; or into any matter into which an inquiry would, in the opinion of the President, BE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST.

If the current corruption scandals are not in public interest, then nothing is. We must find out what is wrong, where. The commission will enable the public and whistleblowers to participate, truth will be told and culprits identified, shamed and jailed. The country will also know who the masterminds are and the clandestine roles of public officers, public institutions, vendors and private sector players in the plunder of our country, and the premeditated poisoning of Kenyans. The serious issue at the center of national security is that whole populations are covertly being fed on poison. And this has been going on for along time.

The commission we propose should have specific timelines of less than six months so as not to be converted into another cover-up maneuver.

The commission’s terms of reference should include inquiry into the conduct and culpability of:

1. Public Health (Standards) Board

The Board is established under the Food Drugs and Chemical Substances Act. It is charged with the duty to prevent adulteration of food, drugs and chemical substances. The inquiry should not stop at the sugar scandal alone in unearthing the role of this Board, but cascade to scams at the NCPB fertilizer adulteration, and other contraband imports fronts.

2. The Sugar Directorate and Agriculture and Food Authority.

The contraband sugar case and related illicit trade in foodstuffs are indicative that Kenyans maybe consuming life-threatening food products courtesy of the very institutions they are funding to protect them. Undoubtedly this may indeed be the source of the rising rate of diseases related to food. The commission may want to find out what value this entity adds to the food chain for Kenyans or contribution to the food scarcity that encourages illegal imports imports?

3. Local Sugar Firms

The role of local sugar firms in destroying the sugar industry must be unearthed. This is not the first time that imported sugar is being branded as local produced sugar and sold in the market. Almost every other shopkeeper is branding sugar in their name. Why should factories licensed to grow sugarcane and manufacture sugar be net importers of the commodity? Is it not criminal that these companies have impoverished millions of Kenyans under pretext of manufacturing sugar which they instead import and repackage, to the detriment of farmers and factory workers? Aren’t these economic saboteurs?

4. The National Treasury

Treasury is mandated to grant waivers to sugar importers in cases of shortage arising from inadequate production of sugar by our local firms. Waivers are conditional and time bound. Were the imports and waivers warranted at the time? Can the Treasury tell Kenyans how long the imports free window was, names of the companies which granted waiver and on what basis? What measures did Treasury put in place to police its conditions? How complicit was the Treasury to the extent that it failed to seek the permission of Parliament before granting the waiver as lawfully required?

5. National Security Agencies and Operations at the Kenya Ports Authority

The Kenya Ports Authority’s mandate is to “maintain, operate, improve and regulate all scheduled seaports” on the country’s coastline. At the Port of Mombasa, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and National Police Service have officers to validate who and what enters into the country. The same obtains at all other entry points into the country. How did bad sugar, laced with poisonous substances, gain entry into the country? Who convinces KRA, KEBS and NPS officers to look the other way as contraband is offloaded into Kenya?

6. Kenya Bureau of Standards

KEBS is responsible for standardization and specification of commodities. How come contraband goods bear KEBS certification marks and stamps? Is KEBS complicit in fake stamps? Does it have capacity to track and identify fake goods? Are its appointed goods inspection agents in countries of origin negligent or complicit?

7. The Executive

Who’s is fooling who? The President wants the masterminds embedded in government and their proxy culprits nabbed. His ministers are talking at cross-purpose. It is in public domain that the Cabinet Secretaries have issued conflicting statements on contrabands. The Government Chemist and the KEBS are also at variance in their findings. Another strand is routing for traders caught in the crackdown to be exempted of the crime. The question is; who is telling the truth and are Kenyans safe, Mr President?

Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH

ANC Party Leader and NASA Founder

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