- Petitioner named the Agriculture and Food Authority (Afa), Kenya Bureau of Standards and National Assembly Speaker Wetang’ula as suit respondents.
- He says the act by the five markets is a direct affront not only to consumer rights but also the entire population, hurts local cane farmers.
A human rights activist has sued leading super markets over alleged violation of consumer rights by importing, packaging and selling sugar of unknown origin to Kenyans.
The petition will be heard on May 17.
Justice P.J. Otieno fixed the hearing date after four of the five supermarkets sued by Stanslaus Alusiola failed to file responses to the petition.
The matter came up before justice Otieno for directions on March 16 but was deferred to Wednesday after it emerged that only Eastmatt supermarket had filed its responses.
Quickmart, Naivas, Magunas and Tuskys supermarkets have been sued alongside Eastmatt by activist Alusiola for packaging, stocking, exhibiting, displaying, warehousing and selling sugar in their names despite not milling sugar.
They have not filed responses.
The petitioner has also named the Agriculture and Food Authority (Afa), Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula as respondents in the suit.
Alusiola, through Wafula Wawire Company Advocates, sued the five outlets on grounds that they were not known sugar millers able to mill, produce, package, brand, stock, display and sell sugar and have no known source or origin.
He argued the act by the five is a direct affront not only to consumer rights but also to the entire population.
He said that continued packaging, branding, displaying, stocking, warehousing and selling sugar by Quickmart, Naivas, Magunas, Tuskys, and Eastmatt is economically killing local sugarcane farming and exposing local sugarcane farmers to financial ruin.
Alusiola said that the actions by the five supermarkets is exposing the local sugar millers to unfair trade practices and competition thereby ruining local sugarcane millers.
The petitioner said that by continuing to package, stock, brand, display, warehouse and sell sugar in their names despite the fact that they are not sugarcane millers, the five are exposing him and the larger Kenyan populace to goods which are likely hazardous and impure.
In their response in court through Mumbo Karoki advocates on March 16 Eastmatt said that the petitioner failed to demonstrate that packaging, stocking, branding, displaying, warehousing and selling sugar is only within the purview of sugarcane millers in Kenya.
They said the petitioner has further failed to table any scientific evidence in support of his allegation that the sugar stocked, branded, displayed and sold by them is toxic, potent, impure and hazardous to him and the larger Kenyan populace.
“The petition is otherwise incompetent, misconceived, misplaced, bad in law and an abuse of the process of this honourable court as petitioner's consumer rights have not been infringed or violated in any manner as alleged or at all and the same ought to be struck out with costs,” the reply read
Alusiola is seeking a declaration that the five flagrantly violated Article 46 of the Constitution and the Consumer Protection 2010.
He also wants the court to issue an injunction order stopping the five and any other retailing supermarkets from importing, packaging, branding, stocking, displaying, warehousing and selling sugar in their names.
He is also seeking orders compelling the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Afa to intercede and stop the five supermarkets from importing, packaging, branding, stocking, warehousing, displaying and selling sugar in their names.
Also sought is an order directing the Wetang’ula to initiate debate with a view of enacting sufficient laws to protect consumers from being exposed to hazardous, toxic, potent and impure goods.
He wants an order of compensation and damages against the five supermarkets for exposing the petitioner and other consumers to goods that are hazardous, toxic, potent and impure and whose source is unknown.
(Edited by V. Graham)