KEBS boss summoned to answer to contempt of court charges

Kenya Bureau of Standards acting Managing Director Bernard Nguyo has been summoned in court next week to explain why he should not face contempt charges over refusal to carry out tests on fertilizer held at the Mombasa Port.

Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot said the MD has to appear in court to explain why the orders issued on January 15 requiring sampling and testing of the fertilizer had not been complied with.

Defence lawyers, Paul Muite and Edward Oonge, raised concern over the manner in which previous testing was carried out to establish that the fertilizer had mercury.

They asked the court to order fresh testing in the presence of the accused persons in the case. Those facing attempted murder charges include former managing director – Charles Ongwae and nine others.

The trial magistrate said the orders have never been obeyed despite clear evidence that the MD is fully aware of the court decision. Tests ought to have been carried out as specified in the ruling.

Cheruiyot said the MD, instead of obeying the orders, went on to explain in a letter to the Director of Public Prosecution that the fertilizer had gathered moisture and the mercury may have evaporated.

“The action by the MD is completely unacceptable since the accused with their lawyers travelled to Mombasa only to find the MD and his team were absent,” said the Magistrate.

The sampling and testing was supposed to have been done on February 20 and 21, after the court set time and dates to ensure compliance of the orders.

Muite said that the prosecution had made several attempts to bar the execution of the court orders by moving to the High Court and Court of Appeal. No stay orders have been issued by the superior courts.

“The court must hold to its authority by summoning the KEBS MD to show cause why action should not be taken against him,” Muite told the court. 


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