Several high-ranking government officials have been suspended following an investigation into the irregular release of condemned sugar intended for industrial ethanol conversion, as revealed in a press release from His Excellency The President's office.

The suspensions come in light of grievous accusations and concerns over the diversion and unprocedural release of the sugar consignment.

"EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT has been briefed on the grievous accusations of irregular and criminal release of condemned sugar that had been earmarked for conversion into industrial ethanol," the press release read 

The sugar consignment, consisting of 20,000 bags weighing 50 kilograms each, was imported into the country in 2018.

However, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) condemned the consignment due to the absence of an expiry date specification, deeming it unsuitable for human consumption. KEBS subsequently directed that the consignment be reshipped and destroyed at the owner's expense.

In accordance with its statutory mandate, the KEBS National Standards Council approved the destruction of the condemned sugar through conversion into industrial ethanol.

The conversion process was to be carried out under the joint supervision of KEBS and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) within a multi-agency framework.

However, it has since been discovered that the consignment was irregularly diverted and released without adhering to the proper procedures.

Moreover, the conditions regarding the open and competitive selection of a distiller were violated, and the requisite taxes were not paid.

Cognizant of the unique responsibility these agencies bear in safeguarding public health and safety, it has become apparent that some officers within the relevant agencies neglected their duties, thus endangering the public.

Consequently, administrative action has been taken, and the Cabinet Secretaries for National Treasury and Economic Planning, and Investments, Trade and Industry have sanctioned the suspension of the following officers believed to be involved in the saga.

Read the entire press release below: