End blame game to ensure tight controls over consumer goods

The Constitution empowers various government agencies and departments to ensure the highest standards of consumer safety through watertight quality controls.

In the wake of massive imports, there have been dangers lurking all over, from poisonous sugar and maize to adulterated petrol and kerosene.

But some of these government agencies whose membership is drawn from the Judiciary, Parliament and the Executive are letting Kenyans down every day. This is worrying.

For instance, infighting and blame game has resulted in wrangles within the multi-agency team, once hailed as a silver bullet in countering graft and other ills facing the country. This has in effect left Kenyans as exposed as they were before.

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It is baffling that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Kenya Bureau of Standards as well as the Ministry of Trade -- all of which are part of the multi-agency team -- can have varying accounts of what recently happened to a consignment of unfortified edible oil.

There have also been claims of more than 450,000kgs of contaminated sugar having disappeared from a warehouse in Mombasa, yet the multi-agency team is unperturbed. 

This can only mean two things; a dysfunction within a unit created to provide solutions to Kenyans or, that the rot that seems to have affected every nook and cranny of Kenyan society has permeated this team as well, making every organ of this amorphous singular unit think only of itself and covering its tracks whenever grave matters of public interest arise. It is improbable that an agency tasked with taming graft and ensuring all is well for the country can engage in ineptitude of this proportion. 

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Kenyans have so many things to worry about, and the inefficiency of yet another government agency shouldn’t be one of them.

It is high time the team, led by the vocal Wanyama Musiambo, put its house in order. Every public agency sustained by the hard-earned money of long-suffering Kenyans must add value to efforts made towards making this country a better place.

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The multi-agency team has to put aside its factional differences now and function as a unit whose sole existence is to improve the lives of Kenyans.

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ConstitutionJudiciaryConsumer Goods