Court blocks destruction of Kwale sugar

KWALE, KENYA: The High Court in Mombasa has stopped Kenya Revenue Authority KRA, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) from destroying over 5000 metric tons of sugar belonging to Kwale International Sugar Company limited.

Justice Eric Ogola said since the issue of sub-standard goods was serious in the country, he would give all the parties seven days to file a response to the petition before proceeding to hear and determine the matter.

“I issue injunctive orders stopping destruction of the sugar temporarily until the motion is heard and determined. I give seven days for the respondents to file in their responses,” said Justice Ogola. 

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In a petition filed in court, the sugar company said that they do not engage in importation of sugar and to date has never imported any sugar from any foreign country and does not have any sugar import permit.

The AG’s lawyer Nguyo Wachira called for an expeditious determination of the tests because the company is a local investment and the society is also affected by the stalling of the factory’s operation.

“I pray for an expeditious hearing of the matter because the matter involves a local investment and the society around is hurt,” said Wachira.

On June 25 2018 KRA, KEBS and Director of Criminal Investigations DCI without any written or oral notice raided the company’s plant at Ramisi, Kwale County and proceeded to seal off the factory, warehouse and stores and proceeded to impound and seal off lorries loaded with sugar.

Kwale sugar then filed a petition against KEBS, KRA, Attorney General AG, Ministry of Trade, Director of Criminal Investigation DCI and Inspector general.

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The sugar company through its lawyer Prof. Tom Ojienda said their sugar has been approved as being compliant with KEBS standard in 2010.

The lawyer told Justice Eric Ogola that KEBS took a random sample of the petitioner’s sugar and certified the sugar as compliant with KEBS standards on March 2018 and November 16 2017.

“This means that the sugar was inspected on two different occasions by KEBS itself and found to be compliant with KEBS standard KS EAS 749 2010,” said Prof. Ojienda.

Kenya Revenue AuthorityKenya Bureau of Standards