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Economy

Manufacturers risk jail term for using goods in campaign

With barely three months to the August 8 polls, political aspirants are pulling all the stops to reach out to voters in order to marshal needed numbers.
With barely three months to the August 8 polls, political aspirants are pulling all the stops to reach out to voters in order to marshal needed numbers. 

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has said it will crack down on manufacturers portraying political campaign materials on their products, adding that offenders risk a Sh1 million fine.

The agency said alcoholic beverages and water have particularly been affected by the practice which is noted denies consumers mandatory information on the products contrary to law.

The law stipulates that the name of product, date of manufacture, expiry date, handling requirements and active ingredient information be indelibly and legibly displayed on the goods.

“It is an offence under the Standards Act cap 496 Laws of Kenya to manufacture or sell products that do not meet the requirements of the relevant Kenya standards,” said the notice by Kebs.

With barely three months to the August 8 polls, political aspirants are pulling all the stops to reach out to voters in order to marshal needed numbers.

Aside from the traditional means of reaching voters through placards, posters and mainstream media, the aspirants are utilising social media and consumer product labels to drive their message home.

From branded vehicles to branded helicopters, the political aspirants are outdoing themselves and are now moving to household products to woo voters.

Product labels are designed to provide consumers with information necessary to help them make informed choices. Kebs notes that having the political campaign material on the various products compromises safety.

“In addition labels must have sufficient information to facilitate product traceability which is one of the fundamentals of product safety,” read the notice.

General provisions on penalties in the Standards Act stipulate that any person convicted of an offence under the Act is liable to a term not exceeding 12 months.

Repeat offenders are liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine or to both imprisonment and fine.

“Where the offence is of a containing nature, he shall in addition be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh100,00 for each day or part thereof during which the offence continues,” states the Act.

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