WHERE DID THEY GO?

Probe whereabouts of seized contraband sugar, says MP

Dagoretti South's John Kiarie called for speedy disposal of the goods

In Summary

• Kiarie wants the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperative to take stock of the seized goods and ascertain that none of the products finds their way to the market.

• In 2017/18, a multi-agency team compromising of Kenya Bureau of Standards seized substandard sugar, fertilizer, and other food products at the ports, godowns and market outlets for failing to meet the required quality threshold.

Dagoreti South MP John Kiarie
Dagoreti South MP John Kiarie
Image: Moses Kiarie

Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie wants Parliament to investigate the whereabouts of the contraband sugar and edible oil impounded by a multi-agency team in 2018.

Kiarie wants the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperative to take stock of the seized goods and ascertain that none of the products finds their way to the market.

He called for speedy disposal of the substandard goods, arguing that the continued holding of the contraband poses public health risks.

“The committee should ascertain measures being implemented or pursued by the government to safely destroy the contaminated goods to avoid the possibility of access and resale of the goods by criminals considering that the continuous storage of goods laced with heavy metals and toxic impurities raises grave health and safety concerns,” he said.

In 2017/18, a multi-agency team compromising of Kenya Bureau of Standards seized substandard sugar, fertiliser, and other food products at the ports, go downs and market outlets for failing to meet the required quality threshold.

Also impounded were over 200 containers of edible oil which were held in Nairobi and Mombasa.

The multi-agency team also had Kenya Revenue Authority, Anti-Counterfeit Authority, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Government Chemist.

On Tuesday, Kiarie sought a statement seeking the accountability of the impounded goods.

The matter was referred to the Trade Committee chaired by Mandera South MP Ali Adan Haji.

“I seek statement and I also request you to invoke the provision of Standing Order 218(2) to direct the Departmental Committee on Trade to undertake an inquiry on the seizure of edible oils, sugar and fertiliser by the multi-agency team,” Kiarie said.

The MP wants the committee to report its findings to the House within 90 days.

Sources told the Star that the committee has initiated plans to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the matter, and plans to visit the storage facilities to ascertain the legitimacy of the records available against physically available seized consignments.

The Haji-led committee will have a planning meeting this week to determine the way forward.

Kiarie also wants the committee to subject the goods to further laboratory tests to ascertain initial tests by the Government Chemist which found traces of mercury and heavy metals in some impounded sugar.

 

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris