State boosts inspection of weights and measures

By Patrick Beja

The Government will intensify a crackdown on traders who sell underweight goods to unsuspecting consumers.

Trade Minister Amos Kimunya said traders who sell such goods steal from the public.

He was speaking on the sideshows of the International Committee of Legal Metrology (CIML) conference at a Mombasa hotel, yesterday.

"We have equipped the Weights and Measures Department with vehicles to assist in the crackdowns."

The minister expressed concern over reports that some maize flour millers have been selling underweight packets and urged consumer networks to be vigilant.

Recently, a scam was exposed where some traders were packing 1.8kg flour in 2kg packets.

Kimunya also said the ministry would also team up with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) to fight the influx of counterfeits. The minister was speaking when he opened the conference that brings together more than 300 delegates.

Trade PS Abdulrazak Ali, Weights and Measures director Salesio Njiru and CIML president Alan Johnson, also addressed the conference.

Johnson said it was important for countries to promote standards, weights and measures to protect consumers.

Consumer protection

"Promotion of legal metrology will encourage fair trade and ensure consumer protection," he said.

Njiru said CIML has helped member countries embrace international standards of weights and measurements.

Kimunya urged the committee to help Africa adapt to international standards and address technical barriers.