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Officials of Mwea Rice Mills kicked out after complaints

Friday November 8 2019

Mwea rice Mills in Kirinyaga County

Mwea Rice Mills in Kirinyaga County. The management of the multi-million shillings mills has been dissolved over audit queries and a fresh one constituted. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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The management of the multi-million shillings Mwea Rice Mills has been dissolved over audit queries and a fresh one constituted.

According to the National Irrigation Board’s General Manager Gitonga Mugambi, the management officials were sent packing and replaced immediately following complaints of misuse of funds and gross mismanagement of the mills started way back in the 1960s.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday evening, Mr Mugambi said that the government had to step in to save the mills from imminent collapse.

"We had to move in fast following hue and cry from the stakeholders,” he added.

AUDITORS DISPATCHED

He revealed that a team of auditors has been dispatched to look into the books of accounts.

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"Already, auditors are at the mills carrying out investigations into the alleged misuse of funds. The exercise will be completed in two weeks' time," said Mr Mugambi.

He warned that those found to have embezzled funds will face the full force of the law.

JOINT OWNERSHIP

"If investigations reveal that money has been squandered, then those involved will not be spared," he warned.

The mills are jointly owned by farmers, who grow rice in the giant Mwea Irrigation Scheme, and the government. The government owns 55 percent shares with the farmers taking up the remaining 45 per cent.

The mills have been shut down to allow auditors conduct their work without interference.

"Once investigations are concluded, the mills will be opened to continue operating as before,” said Mr Mugambi.