Bad sugar: Officers defended
A Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) manager has defended his juniors who released 10,000 tonnes of substandard imported sugar.
Western KRA coordinator Joseph Kaguru yesterday told Mombasa Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno that his officers had to release the sugar after it was cleared by Kenya Bureau Standards.
“KRA officers are supposed to allow the release of any cargo from the port after eight agencies at the port have cleared them,” Mr Kaguru said.
The manager was testifying during the trial of officials of KRA, Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), and clearing agents, who have denied several charges touching on the release of the sugar from the port.
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He insisted that KRA officials could not release any goods from the port before the agencies clear them.
Kaguru also told the court that Egypt, the country of the sugar’s origin, had issued a certificate indicating the sugar was fit for human consumption.
The KRA officers are Vivian Moraa Rioba, Monica Kiarie and Stephen Ochieng Onditi. They have denied that between June 29 and July 2018 they unlawfully authorised the release of bad sugar to Flora Bakers. They are also charged with abuse of office.
The suspects are charged alongside Kilindini Port Health Officer Peter Mwadziwe, Flora Bakers Directors Hassan Abdi Mohamed and Abdulahi Abdi Mohamed, and Kenya Bureau of Standards’ Samuel Onjolo and Daniel Mutsa.
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The accused are out on a cash bail of Sh500,000 each with a surety in the same amount. They are represented by Gikandi Ngibuini and Jared Magolo. The prosecution is led by Alexander Muteti.
Port Health Officer Florence Ndulu Kalimu said her office followed the right procedure by allowing the release of the sugar after the Government Chemist informed it that the consignment was fit for human consumption.