The sugar wars that are threatening to unravel the Jubilee ruling coalition have focused mostly on the product that is imported by scores of licensed traders.
But, unknown to many Kenyans, a significant amount of sugar consumed in the country is contraband Brazilian product imported via the Kismayu port and smuggled in through the porous Somalia border.
A study by a Danish think-tank shows how political, business, bureaucratic and security interests in Somalia and Kenya are fuelling the smuggling that threatens the country’s political and economic stability.
It describes the smuggling as a “dangerous, lucrative and highly political business.” … It names a former governor and a leading politician from northern Kenya as some of the top politicians involved in the trade.
There are at least 70 businessmen in Kismayu, Garissa and Nairobi who operate lucrative rings that earn them millions of dollars a year.