Police have seized 300 bags of contaminated rice that had been disposed off at Mikuyu river, near Kasikeu market in Makueni County.
The Makueni County Commissioner (CC), Maalim Mohammed said a retail trader at Kasikeu has been arrested in connection with the impounded rice.
Police also raided the suspect’s stores in Kasikeu market where more expired food stuffs were confiscated.
‘‘We have cordoned off the stores while the contaminated rice has been taken to Sultan Hamud Police Station pending further investigations,’’said Maalim.
He said a multi agency team comprising of public health officials and National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) had been dispatched to the site to carry out more investigations.
The CC warned businessmen against flouting procedures of destroying contaminated goods saying the government will take stern action against culprits found doing so.
‘‘There are laid down procedures on how contaminated food stuffs should be disposed off, all relevant authorities should be involved to avoid any health hazards,’’said Maalim.
He urged residents to always be vigilant and always check out the expiry dates of goods especially food stuffs before consumption.
‘‘Residents need to be very careful and check the expiry date or substandard goods that could be harmful to their health,’’said the county commissioner.
Maalim disclosed that police also recovered 100 bales of wheat flour during the raid belonging to Grain Millers Limited, that had been reported stolen after the driver of a lorry that was transporting the flour to Meru from Mombasa was allegedly hijacked at Mtito Andei town.
He said the lorry driver has been arrested and is helping police with investigations.
‘‘The driver, identified as Henry John Suma had reported to the police that he had been hijacked and the wheat flour stolen,’’ said the CC.
Maalim warned unscrupulous businessmen dealing with contraband goods that their days are numbers.
He decried the high number of cases of goods reported stolen under unclear circumstances while on transit along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and vowed to dismantle the cartels dealing in stolen goods.
‘‘This trend is very common in Makueni and Taita Taveta and some of the towns notorious for the illegal trade, include Kiundwani, Makindu, Masimba and most recently Kasikeu,’’disclosed the CC.
Maalim also urged residents to remain vigilant in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in the country by reporting any suspicious individuals to the police.
‘‘Let us be each other’s keeper,’’ said the CC.
By Roselyne Kavoo