Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on Wednesday broke her silence on the closure of Mt. Kenya wholesalers in Kitui town. According to Ngilu the trader has been selling Poisonous sugar and other bad products to the people of Kitui. She vowed not to have the trader operate in her County as that was a ploy to finish Ukambani where the trader operates in Kitui, Matuu and Mwingi. Ngilu added that the trader should go and sell the illicit products in their home town.
Last week but one, the Chief Officer Health Richard Muthoka said that the reason for closing the business was that it did not meet health standards and that it also lacked Toilet facilities for staff. It is now clear that the trader was closed because of the illicit sugar and not the reasons given by the health chief officer. When a crackdown on sugar was conducted at the wholesaler’s premises, the results of sugar taken in by government for testing have never been made public until today.
Ngilu also vowed that she will not allow her County to be destroyed citing her earlier ban on charcoal burning and sand harvesting which caused controversy adding that everyone should cut trees or harvest sand from where they come from and not in Kitui. Ngilu revealed that Simon Mwangi the proprietor of Mt Kenya Wholesalers tried to meet her and she told him that the she had responsibility of protecting the people of Kitui.
In Kitui alone the trader is estimated to have employed at least 300 people with many others employed by traders who work with the wholesaler. The closure has resulted in the price of almost all food stuffs increasing, early this week a kilo of sugar in Kitui was going for as high as 170 from 120 before Mt Kenya wholesalers was closed. Other traders have taken the opportunity to hike their prices. Traders in Kitui had also promised to start demonstrations if the Wholesaler is not allowed to resume operations.
It is not seems the fate of Mt Kenya wholesalers in Kitui is doomed as the high court in Machakos failed to secure the reopening and now that the Governor has spoke on the issue it seems there is nothing the trader can do. Small traders preferred working with the wholesaler as he would extent credit terms and this has resulted to the growth of many small business in the entire County.