NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – The pace at which contraband and counterfeit goods are destroyed is dependent on court orders and not the fact that they have been seized by the security agents, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has said.
Matiangi said this in response to questions posed by MPs from the Administration and National Security Committee as to why the 1.4 million bags of contraband sugar are yet to be destroyed.
“We are a very transparent ministry and as we speak now this matter is under investigations and we have to wait for final directives from the court before taking the next move,” said Matiangi.
The CS once again confirmed that there is contaminated sugar in the country even as Kenyans wait to know if indeed the sugar in their homes and at retail outlets has mercury or not after the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the entry of contraband sugar into the market delivers its preliminary report in Parliament Thursday afternoon.
“It is true honourable chair that we have contaminated products, but I would not like to dwell on this matter now as most of the questions raised concerns standardisation,” said Matiangi.
He however expressed his trust in the agencies saying sometimes counterfeit goods get into the country via porous borders or human mistakes and not because the regulatory institutions sleep on their job.
MPs were however not satisfied with Matiangi’s defence as they went ahead and questioned why the multi-agency chain, including the Anti-Counterfeit Agency, the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue Authority, are making headlines chasing traders around the country instead of arresting them before they venture into the field.
“Regular surveillance and being firmly vigilant would have prevented the sugar from entering through the port of Mombasa or the inland border posts,” said Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito.
According to Matiangi, 72 people have been arrested and the prosecution process is underway.