LSK on Fake Fertilizer Scandal in Kenya

LSK on Fake Fertilizer Scandal in Kenya

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has expressed concerns over the alleged mishandling of the National Fertilizer Subsidy Program (NFSP), citing reports of substantial breaches of duty, incompetence, fraud, and corruption. The program, aimed at providing subsidized fertilizer to farmers, has been plagued by systemic issues within the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

In a statenent issued on April 22, 2024, The Law Society highlighted several outstanding issues, including the program's failure to achieve its intended purpose of increasing efficiency and productivity while reducing costs and delays. Farmers have reported bureaucratic inefficiencies, corruption, and unprecedented delays in accessing fertilizer. Alarmingly, there have been confirmed instances of fake fertilizer being sold to unsuspecting farmers, jeopardizing their outputs and incomes.

The NCPB and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) have been accused of failing to enforce stringent quality control measures and taking no action to curb the sale of fake fertilizer. Additionally, severe delays in the delivery and distribution of fertilizer have been reported, with farmers decrying the transition from a voucher-based system to distribution through the NCPB, leading to inefficiencies and an enabling environment for corruption.

The Law Society has called out the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Mithika Linturi, demanding that he take action to address the "unprecedented horror show" and offer reparations to affected farmers. 

LSK through its president Faith Odhiambo has written to the Cabinet Secretary, demanding the implementation of several recommendations, including the consideration of legal action against all parties involved in the NFSP Scam.

If the Ministry fails to address the issues within the demand period, the Law Society threatens to petition Parliament for Linturi's removal from office on grounds of gross misconduct, violation of the Constitution, and incompetence. 

LSK also plans to pursue legal action against the Ministry, Linturi, NCPB, KEBS, and responsible officials for damages incurred by farmers and their involvement in the NFSP Scam.

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