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Police seize suspected ‘toxic’ maize

By | May 17th 2009 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Standard Team

Anxiety gripped parts of the country following simultaneous appearance of what was suspected to be contaminated maize.

A public wary of the recent mischief in the maize sector intercepted several sacks.

The South African-branded maize was intercepted from a dealer in Laini Saba Kibera and held at Kenyatta Golf Course chief’s camp in Dagoretti just a day after some bags were intercepted in a market in Wangige.

Mrs Jane Obiero, the dealer, said she had acquired the maize through rightful procedure.

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"Nilinunua maindi hii Mombasa, na kama ina taabu sifai kulaumiwa, (I bought this maize in Mombasa and if it is contaminated I should not be blamed,) she said, waving a certification letter from the Kenya Bureau of Standards and a delivery note from the distributor.

In parts of Central Province police seized nearly 1,000 bags of maize.

In Karatina, 800 bags were found at a store belonging to Salama Maize Millers. The firm said it was sold the maize by a Mombasa-based company.

Police in Maragwa carted away 65 bags after some residents complained of stomach upset. There were claims several people in Nyeri had also sought medication after eating the maize.

In Nyeri town, police arrived at a cereal store to find the trader had already sold 48 of 50 bags she bought on Monday.

Murang’a South DC Chris Musumbu confirmed yesterday the maize was labeled as South African imports.

In Nakuru a lorry ferrying an alleged consignment of contaminated maize was impounded. A crowd gathered outside a posho mill at Kiti Estate where the lorry was offloading.

A member of the public who was nearby called the police who ordered the maize be put back into the lorry.

However, the lorry’s turn boy George Karomo displayed documents from the Kenya Bureau of Standards, which allegedly gave the maize a clean bill of health. Karomo accused police of harassment saying they are mistaking any maize imported from South Africa with the condemned consignment. Nakuru OCPD Daniel Kimeu said they had taken samples of the maize to the Government chemist for analysis.

contaminated maize toxic maize Kenya Bureau of Standards
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