The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has declared the cooking oil in the Sh17 import scam unfit for human consumption.
KEBS has further adviced the importer to arrange their reshipment to the country of origin within a 30-day period. Failure to comply will result in the oils being destroyed at the importer’s expense.
KEBS testing against the Kenya Standardization Specification for Fortified Edible Oils and Fats, the consignments bearing entry numbers 23MBAIM402473344, 23MBAIM403321628, and 23MBAIM403235943 failed to meet the required standards, specifically in Vitamin A content and Insoluble Impurities.
The final report by KEBS revealed that while the fat content slightly exceeded the required amount by 0.47%, the oils contained 99.97% instead of the stipulated 99.5%.
Additionally, the moisture and volatile matter at 105°C stood at 0.03, below the required standard of 0.2.
In terms of acid value, the measured potassium hydroxide in milligrams was 0.12, significantly lower than the required standard of 0.6. Similarly, the peroxide oxygen per kilogram of oil was found to be 5.42, below the stipulated requirement of 10.
The KEBS examination also found that the imported oil contained 0.04 of insoluble impurities while the required standard is 0.05.
Inflated prices during procurement
Curiously, the report raises questions as to why consignment number 23MBAIM402747001, exported by Multi Commerce FZC in Sharjah, UAE, was not subjected to tests despite being shipped before the testing period in July.
This imported batch of 125,000 MT of edible oil was anticipated to alleviate living costs. However, discrepancies emerged, revealing inflated prices that rendered the consignment uncompetitive.
Recent investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) have interrogated top officials at KNTC.
This inquiry arose following revelations that companies associated with government affiliates were exclusively engaged to procure food and edible oils through KNTC.
Also arrested were bank officials who handled transactions for the questionable deal which saw taxpayers lose Sh17 billion in what had been framed as a cheap edible oil importation deal only to end up being another money-making venture for corrupt government officials and tenderpreneurs.