A report by MPs within the committee investigating controversial sugar imports was doctored at the last minute to exonerate some culprits.
The same was revealed by a section of MPs sitting in the National Assembly joint committee on Agriculture yesterday even as they disowned part of the report tabled on Wednesday.
Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati and Makueni’s Dan Maanzo, among others, claimed the report which indicted Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Adan Mohammed (EAC and former Trade) and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett was edited between the Panari Hotel and Parliament Buildings.
On Tuesday at Panari, members walked out on Kega and Haji accuing them of dragging thir feet in incorporating the Government Chemist’s findings,indicating some contraband sugar had mercury.
The team chaired by Kanini Kega (Kieni) and Adan Haji (Mandera East) retreated to the hotel early this week to write the final report after a similar attempt failed in Mombasa two weeks ago.
The aggrieved MPs claim the doctoring was a conspiracy between the two chairs and clerks who were ‘”overprotective” of the ministers.
Arati said their original report recommended that Rotich, Adan and Bett be held responsible for the excess importation, failure to guarantee safety and quality of sugar and waiver of duty, respectively. He claimed that this information was completely missing from the report presented in the House.
“The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury should be held responsible for the excess importation of sugar into the country and consequent tax evasion,” read a copy of what Arati’s team claimed was the original version of the report.
Arati claimed the report was altered against the wishes of the members. “There is the Hansard report to support our case,” Arati said while Maanzo added that ed “this is forgery and we will not let it go.”
And yesterday, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi abruptly deferred debate on the report into the contaminated sugar.
Muturi stopped debate on the new report because it was presented to the House unprocedurally. Without elaborating, Muturi said other members of the two committees had suggested amendments, which he had approved for inclusion.
On July 5, MPs threw out a preliminary report of the committee that has been investigating the importation of sugar alleged to contain poisonous substances, terming the report “shallow and inconclusive”.
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