, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has maintained that 1.4 million bags of impounded sugar will not be released until the investigation is finalised.
Appearing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the entry of contraband sugar in the Kenyan market, the CS admitted that there are contaminated products in the country besides sugar.
“1.4 million bags of sugar that we are holding is not a small matter. We have arrested 72 people and we will arrest more. Public servants who have colluded will also be prosecuted,” he warned.
Matiangi however clarified that there is no cause for alarm concerning the statement he made that the sugar had traces of mercury, saying the statement was meant to caution and create awareness to the Kenyans.
“I don’t know why a conclusion was drawn that we are focusing only on sugar. I made the statement, but it was a cautionary statement because we have not only sugar but many other contaminated products, “said Matiangi.
He refused to give more details on the extent of the investigation due to the sensitivity of the matter and said he can only do that in-camera.
“When we have the in-camera proceeding I will tell you the work that the DCI has done and what the work that the security sector has been doing, I trust the work they have done,” Matiangi said.
He vowed that the crackdown on counterfeit goods and products will continue and companies involved in illegal importation of goods will be shut down.
Earlier, it had been reported that the CS would not appear before the committee.
A letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi from Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said Matiangi’s appearance before the team would jeopardize police investigations.
Matiang’i, who snubbed the committee on Tuesday, apologized for his absence saying the invite came at short notice when he was already scheduled to handle other government duties.
“I wanted for the record to sincerely apologize to you chairman and to the committee for not getting here early enough on these particular issues and promise that we will do our best to be helpful to the committee in the investigation that we are doing.”