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Kenya Seed on the spot over Sh145 million irregular tender to Syngenta

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Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched investigations into procurement irregularities in Kenya Seed Company’s Sh145million tender to Syngenta East Africa Limited. EACC is targeting former Kenya Seed board members, former chairman Nathaniel Tum and members of the board of directors over questionable supply of seed treatment chemical to Syngenta East Africa Limited in 2019.

EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak wrote to the Kenya Seed company demanding clarifications on how the hefty amount was irregularly paid to Syngenta East Africa Limited.

“Kindly furnish us with original documents in relation to the Tender No. KSC/T/STC/12/2018/2019 . . . the contract agreement for supply and delivery of insecticide for Kenya Seed maize treatment on direct procurement between Kenya Seed Company Ltd and Syngenta East Africa Limited,” the letter read in part.

The commission’s detectives based at the North Rift regional office in Eldoret will interrogate Dr Tum, Abraham Koech, Peter Waweru, Nathan Anaswa,  Dr Johnson Irungu Waithaka, Wilkister Simiyu, Dr Winnie Macharia, Lawrance Njiru, Symon Cherogony,  and Richard Aiyabei.

Kenya Seed has been rocked by boardroom wars and legal battles over management issues which pushed the Agriculture CS Peter Munya to appoint Francis Okwara as the new board chairperson and Alice Chesire, Gitonga Kamiti, Kipkorir arap Menjo, and Samuel Mecca to the board through a special gazette.

Munya revoked the appointments of Dr Samson Chelule, Elsbeth Naeku Tolu and Muchohi Ruiru Gikonyo through the same notice but Tum and other officials challenged the appointments in court.

Tum also convened an annual shareholder meeting with private shareholders in an attempt to appoint new directors, a chief executive and declare dividends for the past six years. He made the move despite being controversially removed as CEO in 2003 after he irregularly transferred ownership of Kenya Seed Company to the family of the late former President Daniel Moi. Moi-era directors had also staged a heated fight to gain control of the company from the government in March.

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