Controversial billionaire behind the Mexico maize import revealed

The whole consignment is estimated to be worth Sh3 billion.

MV IVS Pine Hurst docked with 29,000 tonnes of duty-free maize.

Nairobi-based billionaire Naushad Merali is the main person that has been linked to the firm that imported the maize which arrived in Mombasa last week.

According to The Standard, The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said that Merali’s firm, Holbud Limited imported 29,900 tonnes of maize, from Mexico.

The government said that an additional 30,000 tonnes of maize will be imported in the next two weeks, all aimed at cushioning Kenyans from the runaway prices of maize flour.

The whole consignment is estimated to be worth close to about Sh3 billion.

Incidentally, Holbud Limited, is the same firm that was at one time awarded a controversial Sh6 billion tender to supply fertiliser on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Nasa claims

The opposition NASA as well as a section of MPs had questioned the government's decision to import maize to bring down flour prices in the country.

They claimed the speed with which the maize arrived in Kenya suggested the local shortage may have been artificially created to enable cartels profit from the importation.

However during rallies on Sunday in Bungoma and Kakamega, Deputy President William Ruto rubbished Nasa's claims.

Ruto asserted that the opposition Ruto were not happy the Jubilee Government was handling the food shortage crisis.

"Others are questioning why a ship with maize arrived earlier than expected. They want a delay so that Kenyans can continue suffering," Ruto said.

CS Bett defended the government's position insisting that the cheapest maize available in the market was from Mexico.

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