MPs investigating the suitability of sugar consumed by Kenyans were on Wednesday determined to have Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i appear before them over the claims he made despite the Government Chemist vindicating him.
Dr Matiang’i was the first to go public with claims that sugar in the market is contaminated by mercury and other impurities and has previously given his evidence to the committee.
According to Chief Government Chemist Ali Gakweli’s report, samples of sugar tested in Nairobi had shown military officers at Moi Airbase in Eastleigh have been consuming sugar laced with mercury. The case is also similar to the samples of sugar seized in Bungoma.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards tested samples of sugar seized in Eastleigh and Ruiru and found it contained traces of mercury.
Although Mr Gakweli’s report was presented to the committee last week, a section of the committee members led by Mr Kanini Kega and his co-chairman Adan Ali are determined to have the CS appear before the committee alongside Mr Gakweli.
Wednesday's was the committee's 26th sitting.
In a bid to have Dr Matiang’i appear before the committee, Mr Kega read to the members a letter he said was from the Interior ministry, requesting that Dr Matiang’i and his Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho be allowed to appear together with the government chemist.
“We want the owner of the document (Government Chemist) to come and tell us the truth. We will also be seeking to have the multi-agency team accompany the CS and his PS because we want to ensure that we produce a comprehensive report to the House,” Mr Kega said.
This came as MPs led by Machakos Woman Representative Joyce Kamene claimed that Mr Gakweli, who had come to defend his report before the MPs, was told to leave Parliament in unclear circumstances.
“There is something that is not right. It is time we conclude this matter immediately because we have been going round in circles,” Ms Kamene said.
Her South Imenti colleague, Kathuri Murungi said the committee should proceed and discuss the document and have the matter concluded once and for all.