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Tone down contraband sugar debate, Kimunya tells ministers

Saturday June 23 2018

Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya

Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya (left) chats with Equity Bank's Chief Commercial Officer Polycarp Igathe during the secondary school heads' meeting in Mombasa on June 22, 2018. Mr Kimunya warned Cabinet Secretaries over escalating the debate on contraband sugar, saying this might destroy the country’s image and hurt the tourism sector. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya has warned Cabinet secretaries over escalating the debate on contraband sugar, saying this might destroy the country’s image and hurt the tourism sector.

The former Finance minister said activism and inexperience in government will kill the country’s economy.

“Let’s try to teach people that there are secrets you don’t go telling people just to appear you are the minister who is working most. We did it in our time. We need to help the country. We are scaring people from coming to Kenya, we will suffer,” Mr Kimunya said.

Speaking at the just-ended 43rd Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KSSHA) annual national conference at Wild Waters in Mombasa, the MP said the wars between sugar warlords has nothing to do with “any of us”.

NOT PUBLIC DEBATE

Mr Kimunya, who is a vice-chairman of the parliamentary select committee on Education, said government matters must be kept within the “government” and not “talked in the media”.

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The MP said when he was in government, such things were not discussed in public.

“This sugar wars may be looking local entertainment but when a Cabinet secretary stands up and says that Kenyan sugar has mercury, what are Kenyans expected to do? We may be happy saying it has mercury while it doesn’t,” he said.

The MP added, “Imagine a tourist in the US who had booked to come to Kenya and reads the headline ‘A CS has said Kenyan sugar has mercury’ and he is coming to a hotel. Will he come? [Yet] we keep blaming the US for giving travel advisories.”