Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya has criticized Interior CS Fred Matiang’i for claiming some of the contraband sugar imported into the country contains mercury, among other cancer-causing chemicals.
Kimunya accused Matiang’i of being ‘inexperienced’ and an ‘activist’ so as to be seen to be working at the expense of a huge risk to Kenya’s economy.
Matiang’i on Wednesday said results of tests carried out on 1,400 bags of contraband sugar at the government chemist shows that Kenyans may have been feeding on copper, mercury, yeast and moulds for years.
On Friday, Kimunya said such information should never be released to the public.
He spoke at the close of the 43rd Kenya Secondary School Heads Association annual conference in Mombasa.
Kimunya said the sugar wars in the country may look like entertainment on face value but it is damaging the country’s image, which may significantly affect the tourism sector.
“When a cabinet secretary stands up and says that Kenyan sugar has mercury, what are Kenyans supposed to do?
“Imagine a tourist in America, who had booked to come to Kenya and reads headlines that a cabinet secretary has said that Kenyan sugar has mercury and is coming to our hotel. Will he come?” posed Kimunya.
He said such statements are unwarranted to preserve the country’s image.
“And we keep blaming the Americans that they are giving travel advisories and it is because of our inexperience and activism even in government that we are now trying to kill the same economy we are hoping to build,” said Kimunya.
He said he has been a cabinet minister for over 10 years and that some matters need not be shouted to the media.
“Let’s pray for Kenya and try to teach people that there are secrets you don’t go telling people just to appear you are the minister who is working the most,” Kimunya said.
“We did it in our time,” he said.
He said if the tourism sector dies then the Big Four agenda will be a tall order to achieve because people will be scared to come to Kenya.
He said the war between sugar war loads has nothing to do with Kenyans and should be handled differently.
“We are going to suffer as a country,” said the MP.
He said the leadership of the country should remember the days when issues to do with the government were not exposed t the media.