It is the mall man who bears the brunt of the law.
I was amused when Mr Boinnet paraded a truck carrying 1,400 tonnes of the poisonous sugar and flaunted it as a major success.
The raw Brazilian sugar was delivered from the mills in Brazil, Swaziland and Dubai by open vessels that often carry fertiliser.
The government should consider seizing all raw sugar and insist that it be reprocessed before it is presented for human consumption.
So, who should be held responsible for selling poisonous sugar to unwitting consumers?
In this country, getting away with breaking the law is much easier when you are rich. It is the mall man who bears the brunt of the law.
That is the way I felt the other day when I read a press report that a contingent of top State officers, with the Deputy Head of Public Service, Mr Wanyama Musiambo, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinnet, and the Director of Criminal Investigations, Mr George Kinoti, at the helm had led a night raid in Eastleigh, where a huge consignment of sugar deemed to be unfit for human consumption was discovered.
It was being repackaged in bags deceptively labelled with local brand names — especially the West Kenya Sugar Factory’s Kabras.
DAMAGING INTERNAL ORGANS
Results of the tests conducted at the Government Chemist reportedly showed that impurities found in the sugar were capable of causing damage to internal organs.
And now I ask, where have all these top State officers been since the build-up to last year’s elections, when big merchants and millers were allowed to flood the market with duty-free, semi-processed, health-uncertified and raw Brazilian sugar?
It all very well to raid the premises of little traders of Eastleigh and arrest the fellows caught repackaging this poisonous sugar. But shouldn’t the focus of investigations be the big merchants and sugar millers who knowingly imported the poisonous sugar into the country?
Why aren’t we seeing investigations and arrests within government departments and State agencies that entirely ignored the standards and laws governing health certification of raw sugar imports to allow these merchants to dump the poison into the market?
As a society, we are surely at the nadir of moral values. Despite the fact that some of the raw Brazilian sugar came in bags clearly marked “Not fit for human consumption” — and didn’t have health certification by our pre-shipment verification contractors — no public officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Sugar Directorate or the Kenya Bureau of Standards raised an eyebrow. They all buried their heads in the sand.
I was thoroughly amused when Mr Boinnet paraded a truck carrying 1,400 tonnes of the poisonous sugar and flaunted it as a major success.
The truth of the matter is that in excess of 450,000 tonnes of this raw, semi-processed, and health-uncertified sugar was imported last year and is being sold to Kenyans.