NAIROBI– Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri has admitted that there was excess importation of industrial sugar in 2017.

Speaking when he appeared before the joint National Assembly committee on Trade, Industry and Agriculture, Kiunjuri said that the gazette notice dated May 2017 allowed individuals to import sugar without restriction leading to the excessive importation of the sugar.

The CS said that Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is to blame for clearing suspected companies, including those implicated in a 2017 parliamentary report, to import industrial sugar.

The parliamentary committee chaired by Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Mandera South MP Adan Haji is probing alleged reports of contraband sugar that was seized in various parts of the country.

The illegal sugar is feared to be containing traces of mercury, copper and lead. Three other Cabinet secretaries are also expected to be questioned by MPs over the contraband saga.

They are Adan Mohamed of Industrialization, Treasury’s Henry Rotich and Dr Fred Matiang’i of Interior ministry.

The committee will visit all the warehouses holding the illicit sugar Tuesday and Wednesday.

The MPs want the multi-agency team probing the matter to safeguard the warehouses before it conducts the impromptu visits.

Over the weekend, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi called for the constitution of a judicial commission of inquiry into the dumping of contraband sugar in the country.

Mudavadi said the ongoing investigations may not yield meaningful success unless the Country adopts a more proactive approach in the war against contraband.

Mudavadi alleged that the complicity of some government officers has made it almost impossible to win the war on graft and counterfeits.

He argues that squabbles among investigative agencies in the ongoing probe will only complicate matters rendering investigative efforts fruitless.