Owner of companies linked to Sh209m fertiliser scandal charged in court

Josiah Kariuki Kimani at the Anti-Corruption Court over the Sh 209 million fake fertiliser scandal 

Photo credit: Richard Munguti| Nation Media Group

The proprietor of two companies linked to the Sh209 million fertiliser scandal was on Monday charged at a Nairobi court.

Josiah Kariuki Kimani appeared before the Milimani Anti-Corruption Magistrate Celesa Okore and denied seven counts levelled against him by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Mr Kimani, through his companies, is accused of packaging soil conditioner and selling it as organic fertiliser, which was distributed to farmers through SBL Innovate Manufacturers Limited and African Diatomite Industries Limited.

He is said to have collaborated with others who were not before court to deceive Kenya Bureau of Standards (KBS) Nakuru region offices.

Magistrate Okore heard from State prosecutor Evelyn Onunga that the accused forged an agreement of value-adding soil amendment and conditioner to organic fertiliser and animal supplement purporting it to be a genuine and valid agreement signed between his two companies and the standards agency.

Kimani was further charged with forging a standardisation mark number 14617 in the name of 51 Capital, African Diatomite K Limited purporting it to be a genuine standardisation mark issued by KBS.

The fertiliser distributer and manufacturer denied presenting the forged agreement at the Nakuru offices claiming he had been authorised to add soil and animal supplements to fertiliser.

Mr Okore heard that the accused also presented to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) the forged standardisation mark.

The company chief is accused of applying for another standardisation mark number 69392 for manufacturing of organic fertiliser that failed to meet the requirements of organic fertiliser specifications.

Mr Kimani presented himself before the court following an order issued last week, when the Managing Director of NCPB Joseph Muna Kimote was charged alongside two others over the sale of 139,688 bags of 25kgs of fake fertiliser valued at Sh 209,532,000.