John Allan Namu: Senior Politicians Approached Me To Kill Fake Fertilizer Story

April 4, 2024

In a session on Thursday with the Senate Agriculture Committee, renowned investigative journalist John Allan Namu of Africa Uncensored brought to light attempts by influential political figures to squash a story exposing the fake fertiliser scam.

Namu’s made the sensational assertions that senior officials from vital governmental bodies from both the previous and current regimes, might have been complicit in the scandal, raising serious questions about corruption in the country.

Namu disclosed, “I would like to inform this committee that politicians across the political divide might have been involved in this fake fertiliser conspiracy, some even reached out to me seeking to have African Uncensored not to air this story where the majority of those affected are small scale farmers,” highlighting the broad impact of the scandal, especially on small-scale farmers.

The former KTN reporter further expressed his willingness to present evidence and testify in court regarding the specific politicians who attempted to derail his investigative efforts, by offering ‘incentives’.

Namu’s story revealed in shocking details how a company packaging diatomite rocks was given preferential privilege by the NCPB, to sell their useless product as ‘subsidized fertilizer’. Lab analysis showed that the rocks and dust added nothing useful to the crops, and in some cases was detrimental.

The inquiry delved into the public procurement processes dating back to 2018, scrutinizing both past and present administrations. The focus is on how these fraudulent activities spanned over different government tenures, affecting the agricultural sector’s integrity.

Chairman of the Committee, Kirinyaga Senator James Murango, announced that various key figures, including the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi and heads of the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya National Trading Corporation, will be summoned to testify. Their testimonies are aimed at unraveling the depths of the scandal.

Murango stressed the gravity of the situation, stating, “This is a very serious matter unlike doctors and advocates whom we may need several times in a year, we need farmers every day since they provide food to us, we cannot afford to allow a few unscrupulous individuals to get away with the fake fertilizer scandal,” and lamented the negative image cast upon Kenya due to the fraudulent acts.

Namu further criticized the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for their inadequacy in managing the counterfeit fertiliser issue, attributing this failure to staff shortages which he believes opened doors for the exploitation by dishonest individuals.

Namu’s call to journalists to pursue public interest stories with vigor was echoed in his statement, “I would like to tell my fellow journalists that they should not be cowed when they are pursuing stories of public interest like the one we did on fake fertiliser, they should stand up to be counted when fighting for the public good,” signifying the role of journalism in societal accountability.

Senators Samson Cherargei and Enoch Wambua echoed the need for thorough investigations into the roles of Kebs, NCPB, KNTC, and NEMA in the scandal.

Cherargei pointed out the apparent criminal/political enterprise behind the scam, while Wambua suggested a deeper conspiracy, urging for a detailed probe to uncover the extent of collusion among state agencies and perpetrators.

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