A farm owned by the Ruto family is being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission over its supply of maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board.
On October 17, the EACC wrote to the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund stating that 62 firms or entities were “of particular interest to EACC enquiries”.
One of the 62 entities listed was Koilel Farm Limited which was registered on October 2, 2015 in the name of the Deputy President William Ruto’s wife Rael Chebet Kimeto and son Nicholas Kipkurgat Ruto.
According to the EACC list, Koilel Farm was paid Sh20.8 million for supplying 11,844 bags of maize to the NCPB. The list does not state when the maize was supplied. EACC spokesman Yassin Amaro yesterday described the probe as “tedious” as it involved physical verification of whether the farms actually exist.
“When someone is paid Sh200 million, for instance, we have to know what kind of farm they have,” he said.
Ruto’s representatives have confirmed supplying maize to the NCPB. Kipchumba Karori, the lawyer for Koilel Farm, said Ruto had 430 acres of maize in Ilula, Moiben constituency and had supplied about 6,000 bags to NCPB.
“I have the clustered weight and how it was delivered and the vehicle number that delivered and the time when the vehicle checked into the Eldoret Cereals and Produce Board,” he said.
According to Karori, EACC visited an agrovet in Eldoret where Koilel Farm bought inputs and received a clean bill of heath.
MPs Joshua Kuttuny (Cherangany), Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) have caused controversy in Rift Valley by demanding an investigation into Ruto’s involvement in the maize business.
In a TV debate on Tuesday with Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kuttuny claimed that Ruto’s firm doing business with government amounted to conflict of interest.
Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe and NCPB managers have been charged over causing losses in the NCPB.
Last month Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri said he had been given names of 21 individuals who delivered ‘air’ to the NCPB silos.
On October 5 at ASK, Uhuru told Kiunjuri to catch the people stealing NCPB money or face jail himself.