Kenya suspends two dozen officials over contaminated sugar
1,000 tonnes of sugar were let into the market in Kenya despite being designated unsuitable for human consumption.
Kenya has suspended over a dozen officials after about 1,000 tonnes of sugar were let into the market despite being designated unsuitable for human consumption.
President William Ruto's chief of staff, Felix Koskei, said in a statement late Wednesday that the consignment was imported in 2018, but was rejected because it was expired.
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Despite being declared "unfit for human consumption," the sugar was allowed into the market in what Koskei termed an "irregular and criminal" move.
Koskei stated that 27 persons had been suspended, including the head of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, police officers, and tax and food officials, adding that "it is manifest that some officers in the relevant agencies abdicated their responsibilities, at the risk of public harm."
Sugar prices in Kenya have climbed by nearly a third in the last month, to more than 400 shillings (about $3) for a two-kilo bag, according to local media.
The government also intends to impose a new tax on domestically-produced sugar as part of a finance package that would target a wide range of items in an effort to increase revenue.
The East African country is in the grip of a severe cost-of-living crisis, with soaring costs for many essential necessities such as petrol and food, and the local currency at all-time lows.