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Kenyans want to know truth in sugar probe

By The Standard | Published Fri, July 27th 2018 at 00:00, Updated July 26th 2018 at 19:26 GMT +3
Police officers assessing impounded sugar in a warehouse. [Photo/Courtesy]

What started as an earnest move to ascertain the truth behind claims of suspect sugar in the market could amount to nothing. Early this year, the red flag went up following claims that unscrupulous traders had imported sugar that bore traces of mercury and other metals harmful to human beings.

It was a claim that could not be taken lightly, given its direct bearing on the lives of millions of Kenyans who consume sugar. The necessity for a probe became apparent; a task that was assigned a parliamentary committee.

But while Kenyans eagerly await a conclusive report following tests, they have been treated to conflicting reports from members of the same government. A Cabinet Secretary first confirmed the presence of mercury in the sugar, but recanted his statement before the parliamentary team. This was after his colleague had refuted the claims of mercury in the sugar.

The parliamentary committee’s preliminary submission to the House elicited such heated debate in the chamber, with some MPs claiming the report did not address the issue at hand.

That the parliamentary committee again sat recently to get more evidence plays into claims of it having done shoddy work.

Of more concern, however, are emerging claims of Government interference in the parliamentary committee’s work, as it embarks on writing the final report. Some people have an interest, and are determined that a favourable report is made. Kenyans need to know who those people are. The truth must be told.

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