Speaking for the first time about the on-going probe on corruption involving the flooding of duty-free sugar imports into the Kenyan market, President Kenyatta insisted there are no sacred cows in the fight against corruption and that Kenya is committed to eradicate the vice within this generation.
“I have remained quiet because I have full confidence in the agencies that we have to do their job,” he explained. “People were out there mentioning my brother on Wednesday, I have said if he is guilty let the process continue.”
The government of the East African nation is in the middle of a crackdown against what it calls illicit goods, estimated at 40 percent of all traded goods, that businesses say stifle the local manufacturing sector through unfair competition.
“There is no going back in war against corruption,” Kenyatta said after opening a Kenya-U.S. trade meeting. “If there is evidence against anyone, including my brother, charge them.”
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri defended President Kenyatta’s brother Muhoho against claims that he imported sugar into the country.
Without naming names, Kiunjuri said Aldai MP Cornelius Serem appeared to be acting on behalf of someone on Tuesday when he singled out Muhoho in the sugar saga.
Serem sensationally picked out Protech Investment Limited owned by Muhoho Kenyatta from a list of companies tabled before Parliament in connection with massive sugar imports. He said the company of importing more than 180,000 tonnes.
“He thinks drawing in the name of the President or his family members will intimidate and weaken the resolve we have in the fight against corruption,” said Kiunjuri. “Even if he shouts from the rooftop, the war is on and we will remain emboldened. What we see is corruption fighting back and he might be acting on behalf of someone.”
Of the companies registered to import sugar, Kiunjuri said 48 were registered as importers of white refined sugar for industrial use. The companies included Kenya Breweries Limited, Nairobi Bottlers Ltd, GlaxoSmithKline and Wrigley Co East Africa Limited, among others.
Those registered to import brown sugar for confectioneries and cattle feed included Jambo Biscuits Ltd, Premier Cookies Ltd, Kenblest Ltd and Kifaru Feeds Limited.