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November 13, 2018

State clears impounded sugar for processing

Trade and Industrialisation CS Peter Munya with Export Promotion Council CEO Peter Biwott during Kenya Trade week and Exposition in Nairobi on July 30,2018. / ENOS TECHE
Trade and Industrialisation CS Peter Munya with Export Promotion Council CEO Peter Biwott during Kenya Trade week and Exposition in Nairobi on July 30,2018. / ENOS TECHE

The government has cleared 1.37million bags of sugar seized on suspicion that it was unfit for human use.

Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said yesterday that the sugar has been tested and meets the required standards.

Last week amid accusations of bribery, MPs threw out a report indicting several individuals in the sugar import.

The sugar seized by a multi-agency team has now been released to the various owners for processing.

The release comes at a time when sugar prices have been on the rise by between Sh10 to Sh20 due to a shortage.

The sugar released back for further processing is 80 per cent of 1.72 million bags of sugar seized by the government.

Munya was addressing journalists during an update of Kenya Bureau of Standards market surveillance of sugar samples across the country.

“In view of the results from the multi-agency team, the government will release the sugar that has been tested and certified to be compliant with the standards to their owners for further processing,” he said.

He said The sugar will be be escorted by the National Police Service to the designated processing factories.

The CS said once processed, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Public Health team will carry out further tests to further establish if it is fit for human consumption before release into the market.

According to Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Industrialisation ministry, 396,928 bags or 19,846 tonnes of sugar did not meet the requirements of the standards.

Findings from the multi-agency team also shows that compliance rate of samples tested, drawn from 45 counties, was 68.8 per cent. It was established that the level of failure among the tested samples was 31.2 per cent due to a presence of yeast and moulds in the sugar.

Color, total viable count, polarization and moisture content were the other reasons for the failure. Munya dismissed any presence of heavy metals such as Mercury, Arsenic lead and copper.

KEBS acting managing director Moses Ikiara said they will seek court orders before destroying the bags that have failed the test. This will be done at the owners cost.

Apart from sugar, 763 containers of edible cooking oil were tested out of which 484 containers failed the quality test with respect to Vitamin A and will be destroyed.

118 containers are pending completion of testing while 161 containers passed the quality and have been released back to owners.

Munya said 9,700 kilograms of Rice seized in Nairobi and Mombasa is currently undergoing quality test.The rice was being re-packaged with an extended expiry date.

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