By Kenya Confidential Economic Intelligence Desk, Nairobi – March 28, 2021
Police in Southern city of Kikwit, Bandundu province of Congo have arrested two Kenyans and a Congolese woman in connection with the sale of aflatoxin contaminated maize to unsuspecting millers.
The two Kenyans Harbert Gichana, 42, and David Kipkoech, 38, are believed to have taken the consignment to Congo after the Kenya government blocked its importation into the country. The woman is believed to be a link used by Kenyans in many other criminal activities including money laundering and drugs trafficking.
The Kenyans colluded with officials from the Department of Agricultural Produce Licensing Board to acquire a trading licence allowing the them to supply various variety of cereals to millers in the region. They were using the corruption tricks they use in Kenya where thousands are victims of Cancer that can be traced to an influx of aflatoxin-laden maize imported when Ruto was Agriculture Minister and Raila Odinga Prime Minister in Mwai Kibaki nusu mkate government.
Confirming the incidence, Police Spokesman in the office of Dieudonne Amuli Bahigwa, Congo’s Police Chief, stated that Gichana, and Kipkoech, diverted tonnes of maize destined for Nakuru, Kenya to local millers in Congo after authorities in Kenya banned maize importation.
Maize imports ostensibly from Uganda, but coming from Ruto‘s farm in Congo have been rampant over the years and are accorded preference over maize farmers in Kenya – many of who go for months on end before they are paid. Ruto is believed to be behind erratic maize farming directives being issued by administrators in the Rift Valley intended to frustrate farmers and create opportunities for importation of the cereal.
The contaminated maize is believed to have been harvested in a farm in Eastern Congo on a 100,000-acre farm registered in the name of Oscar Kipchumba Sudi, who is currently a member of the National Assembly for the Kapseret constituency, representing the Jubilee Party. However, it is an open secret it belongs to Deputy president William Ruto.
The farm is ran by a Norwegian agricultural expatriate Morris Jensen who is on World Food Programme (WFP) radar for violating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) farming code in several African countries. Jensen is among wester scientists experimenting on methods of depopulating the African Continent.
The imports of Ruto-related maize from Congo have disadvantaged Kenyan farmers whose maize is given no priority by the National Cereals and Produce Board, which has been under the spell of corruption for decades. Rift Valley farmers have been advised by Ruto‘s political spokesman Kipchumba Makkomen to grow the highly perishable avocados and abandon their stable food maize growing – advice to starve and impoverish the so-called hustlers.
Aflatoxins are endemic in Kenya. The 2004 outbreak of acute aflatoxicosis in the country was one of the unprecedented epidemics of human aflatoxin poisoning recorded in mycotoxin history. In this study, an elaborate review was performed to synthesize Kenya’s major findings in relation to aflatoxins, their prevalence, detection, quantification, exposure assessment, prevention, and management in various matrices. Data retrieved indicate that the toxins are primarily biosynthesized by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, with the eastern part of the country reportedly more aflatoxin-prone.
Aflatoxins have been reported in maize and maize products (Busaa, chan’gaa, githeri, irio, muthokoi, uji, and ugali), peanuts and its products, rice, cassava, sorghum, millet, yams, beers, dried fish, animal feeds, dairy and herbal products, and sometimes in tandem with other mycotoxins. The highest total aflatoxin concentration of 58,000 μg/kg has been reported in maize. At least 500 acute human illnesses and 200 deaths due to aflatoxins have been reported.
The causes and prevalence of aflatoxins have been grossly ascribed to poor agronomic practices, low education levels, and inadequate statutory regulation and sensitization. Low diet diversity has aggravated exposure to aflatoxins in Kenya because maize as a dietetic staple is aflatoxin-prone. Detection and surveillance are only barely adequate, though some exposure assessments have been conducted. There is a need to widen diet diversity as a measure of reducing exposure due to consumption of aflatoxin-contaminated foods.