NAIROBI, Kenya May 17 – Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Bernard Njiraini has been suspended alongside 26 other officials in a sweet sugar scandal.

The suspension followed similar action at the Health Ministry where a Principal Secretary was fired alongside the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority and its board over a multi billion mosquito nets scandal.

At the Kenya Bureau of Standards the officials were under investigation for the release of condemned sugar earmarked for industrial use, State House said in a statement issued on Wednesday night.

The 20,000 bags of sugar had been imported in 2018 and condemned over expired date and was earmarked for destruction or conversion into industrial ethanol.

But investigators said they discovered that the bad sugar had been released for use by the public yet it is unfit for consumption, triggering the action by President William Ruto to suspend the officials for further investigations.

Njiraini was suspended alongside six other officials at KEBS as well as eight at the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), four police officers and six others from the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA).

“It has since been established that the consignment was irregularly diverted and unprocedural released,” a statement issued by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei said, “further, the conditions relating to open and competitive enlisting of the distiller were breached and the applicable taxes were not paid.”

According to Koskei, the conversion of the sugar to industrial use was to be undertaken by regulatory agencies which were to source for a distiller through an open and competitive tendering process and taxes fully paid.

“It is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm,” Koskei said.