CS Mwangi Kiunjuri States Gazette Notice by Treasury Opened Door for Sugar Scandal

  • Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri on Monday told legislators that a gazette notice issued by National Treasury opened the window for anyone to import sugar duty-free.

    Speaking while he appeared before Parliament's Trade and Agriculture committee, he stated that President Uhuru Kenyatta issued an executive order to allow duty-free imports of maize, sugar and powdered milk.

    National Treasury CS Henry Rotich responded to the order and issued the first gazette notice on May 12 which allowed importers to bring in duty-free sugar till August 31, 2017.

    He added that during that time, sugar production went down from 53,000 metric tonnes in January to 10,000 metric tonnes in August in 2017.

    [caption caption="Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri"][/caption]

    The Agriculture CS told Parliamentarian that this was against a monthly demand of 60,000 metric tonnes.

    Kiunjuri further added that in May 2017, sugar prices increased from Ksh130 per kilo to Ksh179 in cities and Ksh250 in some rural areas.

    The government was supposed to import from COMESA countries but they too had a deficit opening the importation to world producers.

    Notably, since it was duty-free, that means no sugar factory in the country was able to compete with the imported product because of the significant distortion of prices in the local market.

    Last week, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale stated he had tabled before the Trade and Agriculture committee names of over 60 importers and a person who brought in 185 tonnes of poisonous sugar.

    [caption caption="Sugar at the port "][/caption]

    “A report of people who imported sugar that is not fit for human consumption is with a committee of Parliament and their names will be known on Tuesday,” Duale affirmed.