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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mystery Sugar Smuggling At Night That The Government Has Done Nothing About

I receive all sorts of story tips from Mombasa. I highly suspect that some of my informants do their rounds in popular Mnazi joints. The problem with tips gotten at such places is that they have to be taken with a pinch of salt.

So when I received a tip about 2 months ago that massive illegal sugar imports were landing in the country along the coastline away from the port at night, I was sure that this information was NOT correct. Those are things that used to happen only during the Moi regime, I reasoned to myself and did not give the matter a second thought.

However about 2 weeks ago I was shocked to learn that KTN had sent cameras to Mombasa and captured footage of sugar being offloaded from speed boats. The speed boats were fetching the commodity from a ship still out at sea but close to the shore. According to the footage the operation goes on during most nights and has been going on for sometime. Even more interesting is that no follow up story has been carried by the TV station and neither has the government taken any action.

A person interviewed for the clip told the KTN journalists that he suspected the operation had official blessing because it was impossible to carry out without assistance from government security agents.

When you link this strange incident to the sugar crisis which has driven the price of this basic commodity to unprecedented heights earlier this year, one cannot help but get very suspicious. When you add the information that a large portion of the 1992 general elections and subsequent elections were heavily finanmced by these sugar imports courtesy of notorious Mombasa businessmen Rashis Sayad and Mohamed Bawazir, it becomes even more interesting and alarming.

There is enough circumstantial evidence for Kumekucha to suspect that somebody is raising money for political campaigns. But one mystery lingers. The man who has been linked to the sugar saga recently pledged his total support to Raila Odinga’s bid for the presidency and to the ODM party.

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