Turkana County Government has closed down five shops in Lodwar town following a crackdown on unscrupulous traders who are suspected of selling underweight goods.
Director of Trade, Wilson Ejie has said that the move to close down the shops was as a result of a random spot check exercise which a team of senior government officials undertook to establish the compliance of the standard quantities for pre-packed goods as provided in law.
“The government’s move to close down the five shops is a commitment to continue tracking down a network of transporters and distributors’ cartels in Lodwar that have for a long time supplied underweight goods depriving locals of their right to enjoy standardized goods in the market,” said Ejie.
The closed down shops include; Amal general, Lochua general stores, Lorugum Stores, Lololka Stores and Darusalem.
Ejie said the shops will remain under key and lock until they comply with the minimum requirements.
Dubai General Stores was allowed to operate in the afternoon after complying by repackaging the underweight bags to the required standards.
Ejie said Darusalem General Stores will remain closed, the rest will be opened after showing efforts of compliance.
Director Ejie reiterated that though they are not off the hook as their licenses have been confiscated until the Directorate is fully convinced that the traders have fully complied.
The Trade Director revealed that the Chamber of Commerce and traders in Lodwar unanimously agreed that government takes swift action against all wholesalers and retailers trading on underweight cereal bags in efforts to meet the required quantities and quality.
The exercise is meant to regulate wholesale and retail businesses and curb illicit trade.
Ejie assured Turkana county residents that wholesalers who will fail to meet the required compliance threshold, that his office will move with speed on November 14th to cancel their business without further delay.
The new developments follow Wednesday’s impounding of a lorry carrying underweight maize bags that is still clamped at the premises of Lands Department.
Officers involved in the field spot check included Zillah Mwaloyo (Trade), Lucas Kaituko, Peter Nangiro(Revenue) and Stephen Echoto (Enforcement).
By Peter Gitonga