Teso North Member of parliament Oku Kaunya has asked the Government to scale up border surveillance to curb entry of contrabands into the country.
Addressing the press at the constituency office in Amagoro, Kaunya said flooding of the Kenyan market with contrabands and other smuggled commodities like sugar and maize is becoming a threat to local farmers besides hampering growth of local industries.
The legislator’s call for tighter regulations follows the impounding of eight trucks carrying contraband sugar of unknown value at Malaba One Stop Border Post.
He noted that the usually cheaper smuggled goods are denying local products their rightful share of the market.
“There is need to tighten border checks so that we don’t encourage smuggling. There is also need for the president at his level to try and ensure that Malaba border conducts genuine business.
“Sugar has been impounded and from police reports there are eight trucks carrying sugar and this sugar is suspected to be contraband-which is not allowed to enter the country,” he stated adding that the Kenyan economy has suffered for ages as a result of smuggling.
He appealed to the concerned Ministry and other border agencies to ensure the recent Presidential directive banning illegal imports is implemented fully to safeguard the collapsing Kenyan industries especially in the sugar sector.
“I know in my constituency we have a lot of business that comes around through smuggling. However, the government agencies manning the porous border should step up border surveillance and patrols to curtail the illegal activities.
“This sugar incident is one that should not be allowed and I want to commend the police officers for having intercepted the trucks. The Kenya Revenue Authority should hence carry out a full inspection on this contraband sugar and take relevant action as per the law,” Kaunya said.
On Thursday last week the Kenya Revenue Authority officials arrested six people suspected of smuggling a consignment of 550 bags of sugar estimated at Sh.2million – branded Lugazi sugar into the country at Sikata area in Bungoma County.
The contraband sugar from Lugazi sugar factory in Uganda is believed to have gained entry into the country through Malaba border point.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait