The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee on Monday kicked off a probe into the Sh4.5 billion maize import scandal by Ministry of Agriculture.

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The Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri-led ministry has been tasked with accounting for the expenditure of the said amount of money in 2017.  

What raised more eyebrows is the fact that there are no records to show how the amount was used. 

Hamadi Boga, the ministry's Permanent Secretary, had a hard time when he appeared before the committee after failing to provide the documents requested by the lawmakers. 

The committee, which is led by Ugunja Member of Parliament Opiyo Wandayi, asked the officials in the docket to come clean on the matter with immediate effect. 

He said that the Sh4.5 billion, which remains unaccounted for was part of Sh11.67 billion allocated to the docket in a bid to counter the hunger situation in the country that was leading to increased maize flour prices.

 The committee further said that it is unfortunate that the cash was not put into good use as expected of the same. It emerged that five companies had been involved in the process of importing maize before the discrepancies were recorded.

Mboga said that only vouchers used during the importation of the maize can be located.

“If I were there, I would have done it differently by allowing importers to bring in the maize and mill, and the government to give them duty remission,” he said, as quoted by Daily Nation.

The Ministry has been on the spot over maize imports members of parliament having to stifle efforts by the ministry to import duty free maize in July this year.