Boycott sugar! This was Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua’s call to Kenyans as she waded into the debate on the safety of imported sweetener in supermarket shelves.
And to live by example, she said she quit using sugar the day Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i revealed tested samples of impounded contraband sugar had traces of mercury and lead.
The Narc-K leader said the sugar should be removed from the shelves and destroyed to save consumers from a product that poses health threats, adding that it is suspicious that the government is yet to act despite public outcry.
She said Matiang’i and his counterparts Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation) and Sicily Kariuki (Health) owe Kenyans explanation on whereabouts of the toxic sugar.
“I have personally boycotted sugar. Unless they clear the air, we are going to ask Kenyans to boycott sugar,” said Karua during the second Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) national lady accountants conference in Mombasa, yesterday.
The former minister wondered why some brands which have been adversely mentioned in the saga are still in the market.
She accused Kariuki of turning a deaf ear to the cries of the public saying her docket has a duty to protect citizens from health hazards.
High presence of copper and lead in sugar means millions of Kenyans have been exposed to the harmful effects of the heavy metals, which may cause a wide range of diseases and disorders, she added.
“For instance, lead causes cancer of the kidneys, brain and lungs, affects the development of the nerve system and the brain, decreases intelligence in children, and causes anemia and high blood pressure.”
At the same time, Karua commended the government for continued war on corruption, saying it was headed in the right direction.
She termed “mischievous” calls by governors to get immunity from prosecution over graft. “The Constitution does not grant any other person sovereign powers and immunity to criminal and civil culpability except the President. They should be arrested like any other person,” she said.
ICPAK chairman Julius Mwatu said the institute supports the war on graft initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta. He warned members against involvement in corruption, saying those implicated will be deregistered.