MPs claim powerful forces scuttling toxic sugar probe

Legislators allege graft is fighting back with help of influential State officials who are beneficiaries of illegal deals

Some Members of the National Assembly are now claiming that powerful individuals in government are plotting to stall investigations into the contraband sugar.

MPs, who did not want to be named, claimed the individuals who trashed the joint House committee report on sugar are keen on ensuring Parliament does not proceed with its independent investigations.

They claimed the individuals want to bring down all sugar companies to make the country a net importer of the product.

Currently, most of the sugar factories in the country have collapsed because of cane poaching.

“I can tell you the fight is tough, they want these investigations to stall. Once we stop these investigations, the fight against corruption will just die a natural death,” said the source who sought anonymity.

The new revelations come even as it emerged that the Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai has written to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) and the government chemist to expedite investigations into whether the current sugar has mercury.

In the letter, the Clerk asked the two institutions to furnish the joint committee led by Kanini Kega (Kieni), and Adan Haji (Mandera South) the results of the tests on the sugar seized to enable it to conclude its investigations following Speaker Justin Muturi’s orders that a fresh probe into the sugar scandal should be done.

“The Clerk has written to Kebs and the government chemist for the results of the tests undertaken so far for the purpose of writing our final report on the contraband sugar,” said Kega.

But Bura MP Ali Wario lauded the National Assembly for rejecting the preliminary findings of the  committee.

Addressing the press in Bura town on Saturday, he said trashing of the report was a clear indication that Parliament had matured and was not out to rubber stamp what the executive wants”.

He said that Kenyans were in limbo and do not know what they are consuming while legitimate importers do not know what to do with the seized consignments

“People have one perception that Parliament must approve what is brought to the floor of the house. Parliament can either approve or reject a report. Their work is not just to rubber stamp what the Executive wants,” he said. “Kenyans have grown democratically. Where we have reached today and even within our own party Jubilee, people will stand on the floor of the House and say no to the government,” he added

On Thursday last week, Muturi ordered for a fresh probe into the scandal after MPs trashed the preliminary report prepared by the joint committee terming it ‘ridiculous’.

He told the Clerk to instruct all relevant ministries and agencies to, within the next 10 days, provide the joint committee with evidence indicating the safety of the sugar sold in the country.

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