Pressure mounts for more changes at KEBS after nepotism, corruption allegations emerge again
By Alfred Mwaniki, June 22. 2023
The government is closely monitoring events at the Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) despite the suspension of senior officers over the alleged release of condemned sugar to the public.
This is after it emerged that some opposition legislators and leading lobby groups are planning to move to court over what they term as tribal deployment of officers to JKIA, Kilindini, ICDN and other critical areas.
The new Acting MD at Kebs Esther Ngari is the one on the spot for the questionable deployment where Lucy Kibochi, John Njeru, Rahab Githinji and another officer by the name Njeru were all deployed to critical areas in a sweeping move that is nepotism at its best.
Shockingly most of the officers that embattled Ngari has elevated without considering proper employment act at the four major entry points are from her tribe the Kikuyu.
This comes at the time Chief of Staff and the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei and Principal Secretary for the State Department of industry Dr.Juma Mukhwana are planning to make an official visit at the disorientated Kebs headquarters to familiarize them with the ongoing work at the state agency.
Sources indicate that the PS will hold talks with Ngari over growing concerns of corruption at the agency that has never been short of controversy.
The Acting MD could find herself in trouble explaining the recent deployments with parliamentary oversight committees both at the senate and national assembly set to pick up the matter.
The deployments made benefited only people from the GEMA community which is against the alw.
There are also ongoing efforts to have the government appoint a substantive MD with some voices within the civil society questioning the suitability of Ngari to effectively run the agency as a corruption free entity.
Ngari has for long battled a corruption case of allegedly orchestrating the swindling of Sh 11million from Kenya Meat Commission.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) pursued the matter and this led to her suspension from KMC.
Despite this, she was shockingly hired by Kebs on 17th April 2019.
After her new role was confirmed last month, Ngari travelled to Arusha for two weeks with another mega trip slated for Geneva.
Our investigations reveal that operations at the agency haven’t changed much with shoddy deals still ongoing.
According to an anonymous source, the board chair is very protective of her and the lady has been overheard bragging that she has the protection of the powers from above.
It is rumored that a lobby group wants to move to court to remove Ngare from office over misuse of office, nepotism and corrupt related dealings.
She is also rumored to be the greatest beneficiary in the recent missing multimillion sugar scandal.
Ngari is among six other officials that were appointed on an interim basis at the agency to replace those sent home.
Before her appointment, Ngari served as the director of Standards Development and Trade at KEBs which defies logic as to why she was elevated to a senior role despite having been there for a while.