Zimbabwe Sugar Sales (ZSS) has clarified the circumstances surrounding the condemnation of thousands of tonnes of sugar sourced from Zimbabwe by Kenyan authorities.
Kenyan media recently reported that the sugar spent three years in a warehouse after being condemned – leaving the reasons behind the costly move unexplained.
ZSS, the company from which the sugar in question was sourced, claimed the package printing and labelling did not meet standards accepted by Kenya.
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They also said the quantities which were alleged to have been destroyed are overstated.
The sugar was exported to Kenya in 2018, kept in a warehouse for three years and only destroyed on Tuesday this week. ZSS said in a statement:
ZSS exported a total of 61 623 tons of brown sugar to Kenya in 2018, and of this amount, regrettably, a consignment of 1 000 tons did not meet the Kenyan package printing and labelling requirements, and this sugar was consequently rejected by the Kenyan authorities.
This specific consignment consisted of 40x20ft containers, with each container carrying 500x50kg bags (i.e. 25 tons per container), totalling 1000 tons.
As can be readily appreciated, it is not feasible that a single 20ft container can carry product totalling 500 tons, as incorrectly reported.
Kenyan authorities are yet to release certificates of destruction, as is required by procedure.