Contraband foodstuffs risk people’s lives
T he continued reports of substandard food being smuggled into the country by unscrupulous traders and cartels have put the lives of many Kenyans at stake. It is disheartening that all these foodstuffs end up in our country in a most awkward way yet there are officers mandated to ascertain the quality and legality of goods coming into the country.
Worst still, these basic food such as rice and cooking oil continue to find their way into our markets and right into our doorsteps. This worrying trend has put millions of Kenyans at risk of being harmed by these substandard products. Once food deemed to be unfit for human consumption is rejected by the home country, unscrupulous traders and big cartels try to smuggle them into the country through corrupt deals with some officers manning the sea port.
Our country is slowly turning into a dumping site for substandard products. This is sad news especially when lives of many people are involved. It is uncertain what the future holds for us in terms of our welfare and health complications that come with it. As these incidents unfold, the Finance Bill recently assented into law has seen prices of basic commodities shoot up making the plight of many Kenyans even worse.
Even though the tax increase on fuel was reduced from 16 percent to 8 percent, the prices of basic commodities are sky rocketing leading Kenyans to a desperate situation. It is only prudent that the officers and unscrupulous traders found culpable to have necessitated this smuggling, be brought to book.
All the contraband goods should be seized and destroyed. The Government should now ensure that foodstuffs entering the country have been duly checked and certified that they are safe, healthy and fit for human consumption.