Kebs in a spot over Sh10b oils

Hired workers destroy part of the 800 jerricans of 20 liters each which Kebs said was unfit for human consumption. [Gideon Maundu]

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) released a consignment of edible oils worth Sh10 billion to an importer without the agreement of a multi-agency task force on illicit products, it emerged yesterday.

Wanyama Musiambo, the team's head, told the National Assembly Trade Committee his team never discussed the release of 48 containers of the consignment after it was impounded last year.

“When the oils tested negative for Vitamin A, that is what we recorded, and it is what we still have today. We have not discussed the release of the oils. As a multi-agency team, we have not sat to discuss the release of the containers and the oil," said Mr Musiambo.

When he appeared before the committee last Thursday, Kebs boss Bernard Njiraini said the oils were released to the importer after a second test was done.

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But Mr Njiraini could not explain how the oils acquired Vitamin A in the second test.

Musiambo said the task-force was put together to avoid incidents where agencies acted without consulting each other.

“When we were constituted, we agreed to make collective decisions. Even as the chair, I don't do anything unilaterally so that if there is an issue, we swim or sink together. Anything else that is not signed by my committee, I am not aware,” he told the House team.

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KebsNational Assembly Trade CommitteeWanyama Musiambo