Sifelani Tsiko Agric, Environment & innovations Editor
About 20 000 tonnes of condemned brown sugar worth about US$12,9 million which was sourced from Zimbabwe three years ago is set to be destroyed by Kenyan authorities today, a newspaper in the East African country reported.
The Nation, a Kenyan paper, reported that the condemned brown sugar had been lying at the Kilindini customs warehouse in Mombasa for three years.
“According to the Gazette notice of July 2, which the port operations chief manager, Mr Abdi Malik Hussein issued, the sugar worth over Sh1,4 billion will be crushed tomorrow (August 4),” the paper reported.
The brown sugar was packed in 40 containers of 500 metric tonnes each aboard MSC Nicole which docked at the Port of Mombasa on July 15, 2018.
“Pursuant to the provisions of sections 42 and 248 of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004, notice is given that the undermentioned condemned goods shall be disposed by way of destruction on August 3, 2021,” stated the notice.
Sirocco Investments is one of the more than 200 companies licensed to import sugar to cover the 300 000 metric tonne gap Kenya faces every year, according to the Agriculture and Food Authority of Kenya (AFA).
Kenya imports about 300 000 metric tonnes of sugar from other African countries while Uganda imports a huge quantity to meet its own demand of close to one million tonnes.
The east African country was destroying the sugar from Zimbabwe despite the fact that both countries have trade arrangements under the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) which permits up to 210 163 tonnes of sugar to be imported.
Apart from Comesa countries, Kenya imports sugar from Brazil, Thailand, India, and Mauritius.
The destruction of sugar procured from Zimbabwe largely goes against the Pan African spirit of promoting intra-African trade which the African Union has been promoting for years.