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Economy

MPs seek fresh tests on 60,000 bags of sugar at Rai facility

Rai
A parliamentary committee has directed State agencies to conduct fresh tests on 60,000 bags of sugar at the Rai Paper mills warehouse in Webuye to determine if the commodity is fit for use. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A parliamentary committee has directed State agencies to conduct fresh tests on 60,000 bags of sugar at the Rai Paper mills warehouse in Webuye to determine if the commodity is fit for use.

The Committee on Trade, Industry and Co-operatives toured the warehouse on Monday before proceeding to the West Kenya Sugar Company factory in Malava to meet its management on the matter.

Security agencies seized the sugar last year. The commodity has since then been under police protection, awaiting the outcome of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the Government Chemist tests.

The House team visit came in the wake of fears that the sugar could have been released for sale.

Security officials at the warehouse blocked journalists from accompanying the MPs into the warehouse.

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Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who chairs the committee, directed the Kebs and the Government Chemist to obtain fresh samples of the sugar for analysis to come up with a conclusive report within 14 days.

“If they decide the sugar is fit for human consumption and needs to go for further processing they should say so, and if they decide it is not, then they should destroy it,” he said at a briefing at the Rai Paper mills.

The MP said the State agencies should determine if the sugar was fit for human consumption and if not, destroy it.

He said the agencies had failed the country by delaying to release the results of their findings on the suspected contaminated sugar.

Webuye West sub-county public health officer Alfred Nyongesa said the sugar at the warehouse was hazardous.

He told the MPs samples he took to the Government Chemist in Nairobi last year, had 0.591 milligrams per kilogramme of mercury was detected, which was unsafe for human consumption.

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