In a shocking revelation that has left Kenyan consumers in disbelief. The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has found itself embroiled in a scandal of epic proportions. As we have it, DCI bosses are probing five million tonnes relating to KEBS Poisonous sugar scandal.
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The said contaminated sugar imported into the country in 2018 was reported missing after DCI detectives and KEBS officers failed to trace the sugar stored in a Thika based godown.
KEBS poisonous sugar scandal importation
It is believed that Kenyans might be consuming poisonous sugar in the market.
The brown contaminated sugar packed in 10,000 bags of 50kg was imported into the country by Merako Investments Ltd from Zimbabwe.
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Upon discovery of its non-compliant with Kenyan consumer standards, KEBS officers banned the sugar from entering the market.
For want of expiry date specification, KEBS officials condemned the consignment as unfit for human consumption. They further directed that the consignment be reshipped and destroyed at the owner’s cost.
Converting contaminated sugar to ethanol
Sources indicate that in December 2022, KEBS managing director Benard Njirani wrote to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) requesting to release the sugar.
The KEBS boss stated that the request originated from Assets and Cargo Ltd to convert the contaminated sugar into ethanol by distillation.
In April 2023, Faith Kiara, KRA commissioner, released the sugar to KEBS on terms that pending taxes are paid.
However, on May 4, 2023, DCI officers accompanied by officers from KEBS, visited the Thika warehouse and found the consignment missing.
President Ruto Suspends 27 government officials
In response to the ongoing missing allegations, President Ruto suspended 27 government officials related to the sugar scandal.
The 27 suspended government officials hail from the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)
The Kenya Bureau of Standards accounts for the majority of the 27 officials who have been suspended including its CEO Bernard Njirani.
Other key officials suspended are:
- Geoffrey Muriiras – Director of Quality Assurance and Inspection
- Hilda Keror – Manager Inspection, Mombasa Ports Office
- Liston Lagat – Assistant Manager, ICDN Nairobi
- Rono Birgen -Chief Manager, ICDN Nairobi
- Stephen Owuor -Principal Officer
- Peter Olima Joseph -Inspector, Mombasa
The devastating scandal comes at a time when the price of a 2 kg packet of sugar shoots to Ksh. 450 from Ksh. 315 in the previous month.
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The KEBS poisonous sugar scandal is a shocking food safety issue causing widespread concern and outrage among consumers.