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September 23, 2018

The real issue: Why so much imported sugar?

KRA destroys contraband goods among them sugar at the Port of Mombasa early February./FILE
KRA destroys contraband goods among them sugar at the Port of Mombasa early February./FILE

The Interior ministry says confiscated sugar was polluted with mercury. Kebs says No but there are excessive levels of copper and lead.

West Kenya Sugar company says that the sugar imported from Brazil was due to be processed further before being sold, so it should not be judged in its present state.

Meanwhile police are confiscating sugar from supermarkets ( without giving any receipts) unless it is marked 'Made in Kenya'. This is absurd. The problem is that unscrupulous importers are rebagging sub-standard imports as Kenyan sugar. How can that be a justification for confiscating Ugandan sugar?

All this hullabaloo masks a much deeper issue. Why is so much sugar being imported? Who is giving out the licences? Were licences linked to funding for last year's election?

A kilo of poor quality sugar in Brazil can cost as little as Sh10 bought in bulk. The wholesaler in Kenya sells it for Sh70. The profits on the 'contraband' sugar could easily exceed Sh10 billion in the last year. That is the real story.

Quote of the day: "We tell our donors, ‘help us to help ourselves, and the more you help us, the sooner you will get rid of us.’"

Quett Masire

The former Botswana president died on 22 June, 2017

 

 

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