Mandera County Commissioner Olaka Kutswa has cautioned local leaders to stop politicizing a recent court ruling that ordered the disposal of contraband goods worth Sh5 million three weeks ago.
Kutswa noted the government was implementing a court order that the goods were a health hazard and did not meet laid down standards according to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).
The goods were destroyed by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in an open field on the outskirts of Mandera town.
Area residents have faulted the action saying the food stuffs which included sugar, rice, powdered milk and cooking fat would have been given freely to the poor.
Kutswa who spoke during the 56th Madaraka day celebrations Saturday said the government will not sit back and compromise on the health of its citizens.
“I better resign as county commissioner other than see people being fed on low quality food, in fact it is only in Mandera where leaders complain when the government protects the health of its people, when we seize vehicles that do not meet the National Transport Safety Authority standards our leaders are always on our neck, we must implement government policies at whatever the price, ” said the County Commissioner.
Area deputy governor Mohamed Arai who read Governor Ali Roba speech asked the national government officials to look into resolving issues amicably without jeopardizing businesses in the region.
Arai noted the border with Somalia was closed ten years ago preventing entry of goods and people from the neighbouring country and asked area security agents to look into ways of harmonizing business across the border without breaking the border closure directive.
He blamed corrupt police officers manning the border of extorting bribes from donkey carts operators who sneak non- costumed goods from Somalia.
Meanwhile, county residents have always depended on food stuffs from Somalia and Ethiopia, with Nairobi being over 1,000 kilometers away.
By Dickson Githaiga and ZakariyaAbdulllahi