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Consumers lobby criticises Government agencies over sub-standard products

By Lonah Kibet | June 9th 2015


COFEK secretary General Stephene Mutoro and the Management University of Africa Vice chancellor Dr. Nicholas Letting confer before the signing of a memorandum of understanding on partnership of offering certificate ,Diploma and Degree courses in Consumer protection and management on 08-06-15. [Photo/Tabitha Otwori/STANDARD]

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has accused several Government agencies of being asleep on the job and allowing fake and harmful products to find their way into the local market.

Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro said Cofek was contemplating taking legal action against the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Revenue Authority, all of who are quality gatekeepers, for laxity.

The federation recently asked shops to withdraw from their shelves Nestle's Maggi noodles, alleged to contain excessive levels of lead, for analysis.

"These regulators have a duty to play and we are putting them on notice if they don't act," said Mutoro yesterday, adding Kebs leaders had failed and let Kenyans down.

"There is last year's killer alcohol containing excessive methanol and the recent case against Nakumatt Holdings. It is becoming clear that we have the wrong person leading Kebs," he charged, and urged Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed to make changes at the helm of the agency.


Cofek yesterday presented a case against Nakumatt Holdings, Kebs and the Competition Authority of Kenya over allegations of price discrepancies in some of Nakumatt's branches in Nairobi.

Mutoro said other agencies under watch included the National Environment Management Authority, Kenya Radiation Board, Central Bank of Kenya, Energy Regulatory Commission and National Transport and Safety Authority.

He also expressed disappointment with how the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission's 'List of Shame' was handled, saying this raised fundamental questions on how far Kenyans were being taken for a ride.

Cofek said it would ask for the files from the Director of Public Prosecution's office to allow individuals who may want to reopen the cases through private prosecution to do so.

Mutoro was speaking yesterday at the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Management University of Africa (MUA) on training for certificate, diploma and degree courses in Consumer Protection and Management.

A five-day certificate course will commence at the MUA main campus in Nairobi on July 27. MUA Vice Chancellor Nicholas Letting said the programme would include units on introduction to consumer protection and law practices, and consumer rights and obligations. 

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