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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 December 2014

MUMIAS BIZMAN TO SUE POLICE FOR IMPOUNDING SUGAR FROM UGANDA

A prominent businessman who claims that he incurred losses amounting to Sh5 million has threatened to sue police officers at Mumias Police Station who allegedly confined his sugar illegally for 10 days making him to incur the loss.
The businessman, a one Essendi said that police impounded three trucks which were transporting sugar which he had imported from Kakira Sugar Factory in Uganda while on the way to Nairobi.
Essendi who is the director of Northcort Company said that he will sue the police officers who impounded the trucks and confined them at the station despite having proper documents which had been verified by Kenya Revenue Authority and KEBs officers at Busia border
point.
He was speaking to Weekly Citizen in Mumias after the three trucks were released from Mumias police station and allowed to proceed to Nairobi with the sugar that had been impounded on allegation that it was being smuggled into the country.
“I am going to sue the police officers who confined my trucks illegally for the last 10 days making me to incur a loss of Sh5 million,” Essendi said.
He said that the three trucks were transporting 420 bags of brown sugar from Uganda when they were impounded by police officers at Shibale and taken to Mumias Police Station.
He said that he had been given permit by Kenya Sugar Board to import brown sugar from Kakira in Uganda for one year.
Essendi showed the press a letter which he had been issued from KSB which was dated November 21 2014 instructing Mumias police boss to release the impounded trucks immediately because it had been imported legally and not smuggled into the country.
The letter was signed by R Mkok who is the head of Kenya Sugar Board and was also copied to cabinet secretary state department of agriculture, ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
The director said that Uganda government was forced to intervene when it learnt that his sugar which he had imported from Kakira factory had been detained by police officers at Mumias Police Station.
“Uganda government intervened immediately when it learnt that my trucks which were transporting brown sugar imported from Kakira had been impounded and detained at Mumias Police Station,” Essendi said.
He said that the Kenyan High Commissioner in Uganda took over the matter first making the trucks to be released immediately last weekend and President Yoweri Museveni castigated KRA officials for allegedly blockading Uganda sugar to Kenya. “We buy a lot of goods from Kenya. Some of those Kenyan officials are narrow-minded. Now they have blockaded our sugar. Now they have gone for our chicken,” Sunday Monitor quoted Museveni as saying on November 29 in Kampala.
Essendi said that samples of the sugar were taken to Kisumu by KEBs officers where it was confirmed that the sugar was fit for human consumption.
He said Uganda officials from the trade ministry and their Kenya counterparts held a joint meeting on the two sides of Malaba border where it was revealed that Kenyan police officers were hampering free movement of goods and people within East African Community states.
Essendi said that Kenyan police officers were acting like KRA officers by trying to verify documents of transit trucks which they were not conversant with instead of doing their security job.
“Kenyan police officers were ignorant about the new law of KEBs regulation which states that goods are only stamped once from the country of origin and is only verified before being allowed to proceed within the EAC member states,” Essendi said.
He said that a total of 800,000 tonnes of sugar is produced in the country annually which was not enough, making the country to have a deficit of 300,000 tonnes to be imported by different appointed companies and businessmen.
Mumias police boss Mohammed Farah confirmed that the trucks were detained at the station pending official reports from KEBs who had taken sugar samples for analysis.
Farah said that police suspected that the sugar was being smuggled into the country illegally but they had no intention of detaining the trucks.
He said that the trucks were released when results from KEBs confirmed that the sugar was fit for human consumption.