Now maize question shifted to Shabaan

May 20, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – Special Programmes Minister Naomi Shabaan is next Tuesday expected to brief Parliament on the status of the suspected contaminated maize found in various parts of the country.

Nominated MP Mohamed Affey raised the question in Parliament on Wednesday, seeking to know the outcome of results of tests done on the maize to determine whether it is part of the controversial 6,000 metric tonnes consignment that was allegedly released from the port of Mombasa irregularly.

“Is the Minister aware of any testing done by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Government Chemist on the said contaminated maize?” Mr Affey asked. “In order to reassure the country, what has the government done since these reports have been disclosed to the public?”

There have been fears among members of the public that the cereals being sold may be part of the controversial contaminated maize imported from South Africa.

Police have confiscated maize that is suspected to be part of the poisonous consignment in parts of Nairobi, Kikuyu, the greater Nyeri and Kirinyaga district as well as Nakuru and Kitui.

“As you are aware this circulation is raising concern particularly in the parts of the country that depend on relief food; there’s serious concern and anxiety among the population,” Mr Affey added.

This comes only a day after Special Programmes PS Ali Mohammed said the controversial maize seized in Mombasa would either be re-shipped to South Africa or destroyed in public.

He made the announcement on Tuesday during a media tour of the grain handling facility, accompanied by Kenya Bureau of Standards Managing Director Kioko Mang’eli, Kenya Revenue Authority Senior Deputy Commissioner (Southern Region) Beatrice Memo and health officials from Kenya Ports Authority and senior Grain Bulk Handling Limited officials.

Mr Mohammed assured Kenyans that the maize, which was circulating in Central Province, was safe. The PS said the seized maize was different from the condemned consignment.

The spoilt maize was under Customs seal at the Grain Bulk handling facility outside Mombasa port.

Back to Parliament, the government was challenged to explain an increase in mugging cases involving criminals impersonating police officers.

Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua said up to ten cases of people conned or abducted by people posing as security agents complete with police uniforms and guns have been reported in various towns in the last one week.

He now wants the Internal Security Minister to explain measures taken to deal with such cases. The ministry is scheduled to respond on Wednesday next week.


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