Nairobi, KENYA: Agriculture and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has said that the country’s sugar sector is in a dilapidated state.
Speaking before Agriculture and Trade House committees on Monday, Kiunjuri said that importation of sugar into the country was issued in a gazette notice issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Treasury Ministry number 4536 which gave a leeway for the importation of sugar by any player of sugar in the country.
He said that the government was prompted by drought which was hitting the country to issue gazette notice allowing various importers to embark on sugar importation.
Kiunjuri indicated that the Leeway in the Gazette notice might have been abused by some importers who embarked in importing the commodity and yet they were banned as per report adopted to the committee of Agriculture in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Aldai MP Cornelly Serem tabled documents, indicating how the sugar was contaminated where some importers, ferried the commodity using unfit ships.
He tabled documents showing how the imported sugar was mishandled in terms of storage, packaging and transportation which he claimed was dumped on an open place at a godown in Webuye, Bungoma County.
The CS indicated that the sugar crisis has adversely affected the operation of many sugar factories indicating that only Sony sugar company is fully operational.
He further indicated that the situation has forced him to call a meeting with leaders from sugar belt regions to discuss issues affecting the industry especially regulation in the sugar industry.
The committee continues grilling other cabinet secretaries including treasury CS Henry Rotich, Industrialization CS Adan Mohammed and Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiangi.