Former Kebs MD, co-accused want fertilizer consignment alleged to contain mercury tested afresh

Former KEBS Managing Director Charles Ongwae: Photo file

Suspects in the scandal of a fertilizer consignment that allegedly contained excessive mercury now want the court to order another test.

The suspect includes former Kenya Bureau of Standards MD Charles Ongwae, Eric Chesire, Peter Kinyanjui, Martin Muswanya, Pole Mwangeni, Erick Kariuki, Benson Oduor Ngesa, Karim Lofti, Malika Kirama, Younes Addou and a company, OCP (K) limited.

The suspects want the test conducted in the presence of their own technicians.

The prosecution objected the application for a re-test arguing that permitting the request goes against the interest of justice.

“This is directing the prosecution on how to conduct their investigations,” the state claimed.

It was further submitted by the state that the consignment is yet to be tabled in court as an exhibit and therefore it is not the duty of the court to order the same.

The court heard that the consignment failed one of the tests and the state was confident they have a strong case against the accused persons.

According to the prosecution, there is no legal basis to ask them to conduct another test.


However, the defense lawyers, led by Senior Counsel Paul Muite argued that the prosecution will not suffer any prejudice if the test is conducted.

The court heard that the tests conducted are contradicting meaning they were tampered with.

The defense also submitted that they never got the results of the test conducted in June 2018 and only got to learn about through the media two days after.

According to court documents, the tests conducted in February last year showed different levels of nitrogen in the sample of 24th January compared to the sample of 15th February. the sulphur rates were also found to be compliant.

Principal magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot will rule on the application on 15th January.

Ongwae and the officials are charged with murder for importing a fertilizer allegedly containing excessive mercury.

they are also accused of abuse of office, commission of a felony and breach of trust.

They denied the charges and are out on a Sh 2 million cash bail.