Wednesday, 04 July 2018 19:26

How cartels are killing Kenyan sugar industry | Morning Express Newsroom

"Kenya's Sugar Daddy" is the same person who has been funding political campaigns.

While announcement by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i that impounded sugar contained harmful substances has sent shivers among Kenyans who are concerned at the damage the sugar may have already caused them, the importation of the commodity was yesterday a point of departure within Jubilee.

Talk of a witch-hunt emerged, with some quarters, largely allied to Ruto, viewing the fight against those behind the importation as being taken to the Deputy President’s doorstep But so sensitive is the matter that it has raised tension, with politicians in either camp not willing to publicly make statements that may be seen as openly targeting the opposite figures. “You can easily tell who is behind the illegal business.

Look at who is openly complaining and you can tell which side of the divide this is. There is no need to politicise the matter that is putting many Kenyans at risks of diseases,” said a politician from Central Kenya. So divisive was the matter when it was discussed in the National Assembly yesterday that it became a hot topic, with a section of MPs shouting down Majority Leader Aden Duale as he sought to make disclosures on those behind the sugar business. Duale, who admitted to having been named as among those involved in the illegal business, turned the tide on those who he claimed were involved in the duty-free sugar importation, naming several companies he claimed had been given the leeway by Treasury to bring in the commodity.

“Tomorrow I will be naming 100 companies that imported sugar. If we have chosen to clean Kenya, let us clean it completely, not doing it halfway,” said Duale. But allegations were rife that some statements made on contents of the sugar may have been exaggerated to whip up public emotions, in a move to ensure the fight attracts support from Kenyans, even as it is taken to politicians and businessmen said to be allied to the DP. Already, questions are being raised at the haste with which the alleged contraband sugar impounded in a warehouse in Eastleigh, Nairobi, was tested and found to be grossly contaminated with the harmful elements.

Those questioning the process wonder how the raid was conducted in the morning and by afternoon disclosures were already being made on the findings of the tests conducted on the sugar. The Government last week said lab tests were carried out on samples of the 1,474 bags of the contraband sugar, but questions are being raised as to who exactly carried out these tests, with some sources saying the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) may not have been involved in the process. Yesterday, the Interior Ministry said the comprehensive report of the tests that were carried out at the Government Chemist would be presented today to President Uhuru Kenyatta for subsequent action against individuals behind the dangerous business. “The report is ready, but has not been presented to the President. We cannot share it until it is presented to him.

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