Sweet Copper?

Now, this country of ours will never be short of stories; the happy, the sad and the absurd. It doesn’t matter how serious or heavy the gravity of the issue is; Kenyans will always find a way of making it a juicy story on social media. And mark you, I am yet to find a more vibrant social media scene like that of Kenyans online. We have mastered ways of the digital landscape and perfected the art of online ins and outs, yet we are only getting better at it.

Some weeks ago it was the NYS corruption scandals. Then the world cup came along, and the corruption woes were forgotten for a while. Before the dust of the NYS saga had settled, the ever mercurial CS Matiang’i slapped us with another one when he announced to Kenyans that they have actually been consuming sugar laden with mercury, copper and I don’t know what other minerals. Lol, the story itself cannot be sweeter. Of course this is a matter that deserves the utmost seriousness, but give it to Kenyans to find humor where it is not to be looked for.

Where did it come from..?

The tale has it that an act of parliament gave freedom to anybody to import sugar into the country, in a bid to fight the hunger problem that had plagued the country late last year. In the clamor for fast money that ensued, some 1 billion tons of sugar found their way into Kenyan market, about 370,000 of which were contaminated with mercury and copper.

Reminds me of my high school Chemistry classes, under the brilliant Mr. Kimetu. Boy, the guy knew virtually every chem equation by heart, it’s sad that of all he taught me I only remember about two percent of it. Little did I know that the Chemistry I was learning,I would later come to encounter it in real life, in my tea, to be specific. Like seriously, of late I have been noticing this whitish suspension in my morning tea ,and only recently did I remember something about copper forming a white precipitate when it reacts. I guess that instead of preparing tea in the, morning, we can call it “titrating” a solution for the breakfast, where copper and mercury are ingredients.

Okay, enough of the joking. If the allegations made by the honorable C.S are anything to go by, then something needs to be done, and fast. Statistics by the WHO categorises mercury as one of the most dangerous elements posing great health risks to people. It is of great harm to the nervous system, the digestive system, lungs kidneys and other vital organs. It has been known to cause impairment of vision, muscle wear, deficits in mental function, insomnia, and of course – death.

It lies squarely on our leaders and institutions to ensure that the health of every citizen in this country is secured. As citizens, we are not interested in the back-and forth debates that we are currently witnessing in parliament regarding such important an issue as this. We need to see some action, and anyone found culpable of endangering the health of the citizens of this country in order to feed his own greed should be brought to book. It is a completely unacceptable thing.

Meanwhile, Kenyans will continue doing what they know best-extracting the last juices of humor from this story, as they wait for the next one. However, not that they don’t care, lest the people responsible be beguiled. We are awaiting for some serious action to be taken, and any harmful sugar to be removed from our shelves.

And again, why do we need to import a commodity like sugar? Where is our Muhorani Sugar company, Kibos sugar, Chemelil Sugar and others? Why not empower these companies and equip them to deliver safe sugar to Kenyans? Anyway, haidhuru.One day our leaders will know what it means to be a self-sustaining economy. I still believe that the future is bright for this country.

Let me take a sip of my mercury – sorry,tea.