, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23- Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and his counterpart in the Industry Ministry Adan Mohamed have downplayed their perceived differences in the ongoing crackdown on contrabands.
While Matiangi had earlier insisted that some of the contraband sugar contained traces of mercury, CS Mohamed gave a contrary report to the National Assembly.
But in a joint statement, the two Cabinet Secretaries have assured Kenyans that the Government is committed to eliminate illicit trade, which has for long posed health hazards to Kenyans.
“We appeal to all citizens to report any suspicions of counterfeited goods to the key agencies responsible. These are Customs (KRA), Anti-counterfeit Agency (ACA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the Kenya Police. This team will continue to collaborate in taking the necessary actions on their respective functions under the law,” reads the statement.
Contrabands, they say have largely undermined local manufacturers, who have to compete with scrupulous business people, who have evaded tax.
This comes as detectives scale the war higher by arresting senior Kenya Bureau of Standards officials including Managing Director Charles Ongwae and several others.
“The role of ensuring that any goods that enter this country comply with Kenyan Standards rests by law, solely with the Kenta Bureau of Standards (KEBS), who have the capability and requisite laboratories either directly or through international agents such as Bureau Veritas, CCIG, Intertek International, SGS, and Cotecna,” they asserted.
Any goods that have been confiscated as part of the ongoing crackdown and do not meet Kenyan standards, they have assured that it will be destroyed in line with the legal requirements.
Kenyans running legal businesses have been assured that they will not be unfairly targeted.
Authorities have been accused of being compromised and turning a blind eye on contrabands, negatively hampering an ailing economy.
A team of National Intelligence Service (NIS) is currently pursuing corrupt Government officials at various agencies, in a bid to bring them to book.
Tonnes of sugar and other contrabands have been seized from various warehouses across the country.
Some of the consumable products seized are contaminated according to the government.