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A Working Paper reveals the political stakes in the Kenya-Somali Illegal Sugar Trade!

The Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) have had a study into the border trade and sugar exports through Somalia into Kenya. How it is used and how it gets to the market. Clearly, the market for sugar is there in Kenya. As the Sugar Industry is struggling to deliver enough sugar and the state has embargoed imports. Still, the same actors and the same politicians are doing behind closed doors agreements that put the sugar in stores through the porous borders of the Kenyan-Somalian border.

The paper itself paint the picture very well and show the importance of the export, since the magnitude on both economies are affected by it. It is also implicating big names and their organizations. As the politicians has another black-market cartel item to sell to the public. What was striking was that the importers together with local merchants are repacking the sugar into bags of the State Owned Entity (SOE) of Mumias. The Company that has been saved the state after devastating corruption and also lacking investment into the mills. Therefore, the politicians has used this name to trade illegal sugar with name. That they even used the stickers to prove it was of Kenyan quality while selling it to the public.

The quotes I have taken, is what see as important. But its compelling to show the this illegal imports into Kenya affects the politicians and the economy in general. Take a look!

The Amount of Money:

Raw sugar accounts for 10% of total Somali imports rated at US $188 billion (Observatory of Economic Complexity 2016). In other words, sugar importing is enormously lucrative and important for the local economy on both sides of the border. The sugar imported from Somalia is central for covering the production and import deficit in Kenya. Most sugar enters through Kismayu port where it is manually loaded onto trucks and driven to the Kenyan border. There it is re-loaded onto other trucks, four-wheel drive vehicles and even donkey carts to cross the border on the so-called ‘rat routes’ that circumvent the border posts to avoid the payment of bribes, random checks by the Kenyan Revenue Authority (KRA), and the occasional confiscation. Based on interviews and observation JFJ estimates that 150,000 tons of illegal sugar entered Kenya from Kismayu in 2014 (JFJ 2015). This amounts to US $400 million worth of annual revenue divided between KDF, Al-Shabaab, local businessmen and politicians, as well as local police and border patrols, including the KRA (though this is not formal revenue) (JFJ 2015)” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 10, 2017).

KRA:

The investigator explained how his unit, in collaboration with the Kenyan Revenue Authorities (KRA) and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), had planned the raid of a warehouse in an industrial area of Nairobi. They had found tons of processed Brazilian sugar allegedly smuggled into Kenya via Somalia, and it was now being repackaged from 50 kilo sacks into 500 gram and 1 kilo bags bearing the Kenyan brand Mumias Sugar and with added stickers from KEBS showing that the product meets Kenyan standards of production and quality. The repackaged sugar is – when not confiscated by the authorities – sold to retailers as refined Kenyan sugar at a huge profit. In 2014 a one kilo sugar bag sold for KES 133 in Nairobi supermarkets, and by May 2017 prices had gone up to KES 170 with some supermarkets rationing it to one package per customer” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 12, 2017).

Political Influence:

Like the former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, the Garissa governor Nathif Jama Adam, and the Garissa-born majority speaker of parliament Aden Duale are rumoured to be implicated in the sugar trade (Rawlence 2016: 236). These rumours reach all the way to Nairobi where they can be voiced more freely than in the north. The power of the people implicated by the rumours is more distant in Nairobi, whereas in the northern parts of Kenya the secrecy associated with the rumours points to the importance and power of those involved” (…) “With devolution, local government has become more powerful and more is at stake for locally elected officials due to their increased budget responsibilities and decision-making powers. Concomitantly, local government has become more vulnerable to pressures from local stakeholders like strong businessmen, militias and other state actors. The porous border, the circumvention of border patrols, and the implication of government officials ranging from KDF to KRA means that much of the sugar is not declared to Kenyan customs officials, making Garissa county one of the largest illicit markets in the country. The flow of goods across the border and further into Kenya formally falls under the responsibility of KRA and the national government. Yet the county government is responsible for local revenue collection and enforcement at local markets and car parks, and they also issue licenses for traders. In that sense the warehouses in the region fall under county administration. The latter thus plays an important role in the possibilities for the redistribution of smuggled goods” (DIIS Working Paper, P: 15, 18, 2017).

This here is evidence of cartels, illegal trade that is benefiting the political elites in Kenya and in Somalia. They are both having knowledge of it and its undermining the embargoes and also the activity itself. Since the politicians are the ones that has put in the provisions and the laws to stop imports to secure the local sugar industry.

This paper shows how much money that is involved. It is big business and the cartels are earning fortunes on lie, where they take foreign cheap sugar and trade it as Kenyan sugar with stickers of authenticity of KEBS. That is clearly a violation in itself, but combined with the illegal sugar, they are even using sophisticated methods to trade it to the public. To make the sugar seem like Kenya, when it isn’t.

That this money is shared by many different part of government officials was implicated int the trade from Kenya Defense Force Officials, Kenya Revenue Authority Officials, Border Patrol, Politicians and even Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabab. So the Kenyan are sending military to Somali to fight Al-Shabab, but at the same time giving them revenue with illegal sugar trade. That is a striking a fact considering the use of military to secure safety for Kenyans. Therefore, the cartels are also making sure the reason they are fighting inside Somalia are funded by the stakes into the illegal sugar industry. That should put some alarm bells on. That the politicians are playing with matches and should know that this cartel plus funding of Al-Shabab might hurt them in the long-run. Instead of being just a profitable business.

This is eye-opening and also a tale of corruption and sugar-cartels using the porous borders between the republics in favor of those dealing illegal sugar and selling it on the Kenyan market. Certainly, this sort of thing will implicate bigger names, than the ones mentioned in the paper. If investigated and looked through. You could certainly also find many bigger names who has created massive wealth within short amount of time. Peace.

Reference:

Rasmussen, Jacob – ‘SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA–SOMALIA BORDERLANDS’ (December 2017) – DIIS Working Paper 2017:11

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Kenya: Election Petition – “Re: Notice Access to Information pursuant to Article 35 of the Constitution of Kenya Nairobi Court of Appeal Civil Application 246 of 2017” (06.11.2017)

Opinion: Why is Kenyatta afraid of free and fair elections? Well, because at this point he couldn’t win one!

I know, I know, sometimes I am late to the party, sometimes I scan through things, but in the recent days and with the news unfolding in the background of the constitutional crisis Uganda. Most things has shadowed that. But with a little consideration, I had a revelation. A starch one for me, I might be late and forgive me, but at this point, the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto cannot win in a free and fair election.

It makes perfect sense, it really make sense of how it’s been since the Supreme Court ruling and the nullification. The nullification came on the matter of computer algorithms that couldn’t be proven or had any basis on the possible transmitted results from the polling stations. The tally came from nowhere and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced Kenyatta the winner. Though the Court Justices at the Supreme Court saw it as a mischief and electoral malpractice that wasn’t following the codes and procedures in the law and in the Constitution.

So here we are today with a build-up to a second round of elections. National Super Alliance (NASA), Key Opponent Raila Odinga and Deputy Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka are gearing up their demonstrations and wanting to reform the IEBC. This is happening while the incumbent trying to rally again and as much as possible on short time. Just like he did in the days ahead of 8th August 2017. This has alle been seen before, but more dire this time. NASA is using their time making sure the provisions of the laws is hold and that the IEBC are up to standard, which they we’re far from during the previous election.

So we can know something by just these acts, as well as all the spreading of hatred towards the Supreme Court from the Jubilee Leadership, while they have worked to defend IEBC and it’s leaders. This is what is striking, one institution are wrong for stopping the incumbent a second term, the other institution cheated them from it, but is still valid to do it again without any concern of reforming it. It shows that the Jubilee doesn’t care how they win and if it takes rigging. They don’t mind the rigging at all. It serves the purpose, they stay in power by any means.

Kenyatta cannot win without rigging. Without some sort of foul play, without use of state funds and civil servants, cabinet secretaries and all sort of digital manipulation to get the results in his favor. It seems so obvious. Since he has used his time in office to enrich his cronies and his people. That is why the Jubilee government had in its time more than plenty of grand corruption cases and misuse of state reserves, which shouldn’t be accepted anywhere.

Still, even with this track-record and lack of keeping up with prior promises. Kenyatta still believes he is the righteous one, that all Kenyans will naturally back. Like he is perfect leader and the one who can control the ship. Clearly, the PR gigs and memos make it golden, but when you start to look. The picture is distorted and the evidence of work is often lacking. Its sprinkled quick work with a heavy bill, without any consideration of the tenders or the users. That is why the Hospital Containers or whatever they we’re meant to be. Is still on the stockpile and not out in the districts and counties.

That is the old news, but the new news, that has been steady all through September 2017 is the lack of understanding, lack of tact and also grasp of why the Jubilee lost in the Supreme Court. It was the IEBC who lost the case and had to restart a new election. Still, they have kept the same heads and changed a few, but not to make it trustworthy. As long as the IEBC Secretariat is of the same people, they might try to pull of the same trick as before. Even as the suppliers like OT-Morpho, Safaricom and others has proven to partial. Also, Jubilee internal memos proves they are defending Ezra Chiloba and Wafula Chebukati. All of this is happening as the IEBC has taken their dirty laundry to the press. Still, even as this has happen, the Jubilee has not attacked or cared for changing it. They have kept cool and told their staff and government employees that they are suspended for traveling abroad.

The Jubilee and Kenyatta, seems to not get what that happen. He doesn’t bring hope, neither trust. Since with his non-acts towards the IEBC and the revelation of Tuju defending the IEBC. We can know that the Jubilee knows they earn on keeping the IEBC as today. They are fearing if they turned Independent in more than just the name.

Well, since it is like that, we can know that Kenyatta cannot win in fair election at this point. That is why he is not bothered with reforming or changing the IEBC. He knows that if they do as they do. He will become the President again, even if it is against the will of the people. This proves that he see no reason to risk his loss and possible end of Presidency. Kenyatta deem that unacceptable and therefore pursuit another way. Even if it means this time actually respecting all districts and making it seem like the voters are important to him. They weren’t that before the August 2017. Because he knew he would win it, just as he thought the case before the Supreme Court was stellar and could post elephants on twitter the before while waiting on the Court Ruling. Something that really insulted him and he felt betrayed by them.

Kenyatta knew that IEBC would rig for him and would serve his purpose, we don’t know to what extent or how close the Chiloba and Chebukati is to the Jubilee leadership. Clearly, close enough that the Jubilee Secretariat are defending them. We just have to wait, but we can now from the recent month, that the Kenyatta presidency cannot have enough votes or support to actually win. If he did and if he had faith in the IEBC. He would have the state of mind to reform it and wait for another announced election after the new staff and provisions, that again could given all stakeholders trust in the Electoral Commission. Instead, the trust of IEBC is lackluster, the same should be of Jubilee. Only thing trustworthy is the Supreme Court and Odinga. Since NASA has been the truth considering the problematic electoral malpractice that was done in August.

Kenyatta cannot win in a free and fair election. Deep inside him, he accepts it, but he will not say, because that is slap in his face. Peace.

Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu Press Statement on Irreducible Minimums (29.09.2017)

NASA Letter to Nairobi Police Commander Koome – “Ref: Notification of a Peaceful Demonstration to IEBC Headquarters on Monday 2nd October 2017 and Friday 6th October 2017” (29.09.2017)

Law Society of Kenya: “They’ve acted in violation of the authority of the constitution and ignored their constitutional duties…..” (28.09.2017)

Kenya: NASA Condemns Attempts to Bar Hon Kalonzo Musyoka from Travelling Abroad (28.09.2017)

Opinion: Ironic that NASA has to follow due process on reforms of the IEBC, but Jubilee is entitled to dismantle the Supreme Court!

You know there are something wrong with the ruling regime, with the incumbent of Kenya, as he has retaliated for days after the Supreme Court ruling, that nullified the Election. As the revelation of their support and continued trust of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Is the one behind the whole Electoral Mess and Nullification. Its not the Supreme Court of Kenya (SCOK), even if that is the issue for the Jubilee Party and their leadership. Like it is in the interest of Jubilee to blast and sue the judges of Supreme Court, since they respect rule of law and secondly follows the Constitution made for the Republic. Clearly, this isn’t justified in their view, therefore they are today putting blame on National Super Alliance for their demonstrations against the IEBC. Since they are busy defending them. Look!

President Kenyatta said Opposition leader Raila Odinga should quit the race if he is not ready to face him on 26th October adding the protests were hurting businesses. “If he (Raila) does not want elections he should relax. We want to have elections peacefully,” said President Kenyatta. Speaking in Mai Mahiu, President Kenyatta said Jubilee’s focus is to transform the country and unite Kenyans. He said: “We want Kenyans to be united, we want different communities to live together peacefully”. The Deputy President asked the opposition coalition to use constitutional means in their quest to remove IEBC officials from office. The Deputy President said no public official will be removed from office through unconstitutional means. He said: “If they have a problem with IEBC let them follow due process. No one will be removed from office through protests.” (Uhuru Kenyatta, 26.09.2017).

Its like Kenyatta and Ruto want’s to be well-rigged President and Deputy President, because they know they cannot win in a fair election, where the results are verified and then announced. Since the IEBC election of August 8th 2017, was a facade of an election. It had the ballots and some sort of results. But these sort of results could have been written on napkins and sent to Bomas, as real results. Even as the forms and the duplication’s of the results could not be verified after.

Therefore, when Raila Odinga and his coalition NASA goes after IEBC. They do so because the IEBC has no trust and there are nothing to trust there. It created a malpractice and made sure Kenyatta won again. When there was no proof of it. Since the IEBC had fixed in his favor and therefore they have not said or wanted to reform it since. They have accepted it, while attacking SCOK.

However, now they are telling to follow procedure, like they did with the petition to the Supreme Court. Which, that have not accepted afterwards, what will say that even if they did try to fix in the Parliament, would Jubilee care about NASA’s problems with the IEBC? Since the majority of the MPs are Jubilee, will not them be loyal to Kenyatta?

So the fixing and doing due process at this stage is a mockery of the fate of the Kenyan people and the rightful man or woman to lead the Republic. Since, the Jubilee wants to rig it again. If not, why do they don’t want to change it and reform it? What is the danger of the actual due diligence of the Electoral Body, the ones who are in charge of ballots and announcing the results?

Its like they are awaiting more skeletons, more secrets put into the streets and tap into the confidential conversations and agreements between IEBC and Jubilee. It feels like that since the Jubilee are not touching or trying to show any figment of change of it. Even after the SCOK found massive breaches and had no problem to nullify the recent election. It shows that isn’t wisdom that runs the leadership of Jubilee. More arrogance and trust in their own acts. That they will leave with the same results after a second round. Since the IEBC will much of the same and the NASA just has to accept it. They should shut up and go along.

NASA and Jubilee we’re both losers of the 8th August Elections. They both lost and has to give way and make sure the institutions who are in-charge of the election can be trusted. At this point, the incumbent and his leadership don’t give a damn about legitimacy or even about sound institutions as long as he wins. NASA cares about this and is justified to demonstrate, since they know that filing motions and petitions in Parliament will leave them breathless. Since, the Jubilee are busy on the road and having campaigns. Their role in Parliament will be shadowed by that. They will not give way, when they have majority and why should they?

That is the issue and the lack of trust between Jubilee and NASA is just common-sense. If people don’t trust IEBC is reasonable, especially with the leaks, the memo’s and the drama. Secondly, the Jubilee silence on reforms as they we’re “winners” proves there was something fishy between the Electoral Body and the Victor. That is why they cannot distance themselves and let it be reformed. Be in the name “independent”. Just like the Police Service cannot be impartial and independent right now. Since if you are Jubilee demonstrators, you can go on the streets and fear no-evil. But if you are NASA demonstrator, expect police-brutality and tear-gas. That is the price of the two-classes of people in Kenya. This is the peace and unity that Kenyatta shows the world. He shouldn’t be arrogant and proud. He should be humble and change, truly that is a lot to ask. Certainly, it is about time. Peace.

TopGuy360 Kenya: Demonstrations in Nairobi, Roads Close, Raila Odinga Supporters (Youtube-Clip)

NASA Letter to Police Commander Koome: “Notification of a Peaceful Demonstration to IEBC Headquarters on Tuesday 26th September 2017” (25.09.2017)

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