African Press International (API)

"Daily Online News Channel".


Posted by African Press International on September 7, 2007

Panic in Kisumu City, Kenyaand its environs have gone notch higher following the impounding of 2 more bottles of sodas with impurities Properties of Kisumu based Equator Bottlers situated along Angawa Avenue-as the Kenya Bureau of Standards still watches the other way.

The said bottles which are still in custody of this investigative journalist were seized last week in a popular restaurant along Jomo Kenyatta Highway situated at shabir centre adjacent, Tivoli centre.

It all started when some two customers in a bid to quench their thirst after enjoying their delicious meal, immediately noticed that the sodas-cocacola and fanta orange- they were about to be served had some foreign materials in them.

Acting on a tip off and having a nose for news the scribe rushed to the scene with an alarming speed. And, advised the amazed duo to foot the bill and hand over the sodas for verifications and investigation with the relevant authorities.

Recently, a similar case reportedly hit a cross section of the press when sodas-Fanta orange and Sprite -were seized. It saw the leading public health officials both from the Ministry of Health and those attached to the city council of Kisumu shocked beyond disbelief by the revelation.

So is the Kenya bureau of standards where a senior officer at the Kisumu Office was equally tight-lipped but was over-heard telling a colleague that the issue was touching on a Company whose one of their seniors was rubbing shoulders with top echelon of Equator Bottlers Company, kisumu.

In a bid to get comments from officials of the company the journalist met the officer in-charge of external operations and quality control, a Mr. Angute who equally confirmed that the bottles were indeed theirs but ran short of elaborating the presence of the foreign materials.

The scribe was shocked beyond disbelief to hear from Angute that such occurrences are not unique and as a policy framework of the company they always part with a paltry 4 bottles of soda or utmost one crate of small sodas to cool the aggrieved parties.

He went further to suggest to this reporter to accept his token of 5 crates in order to avert the disparaging disclosure. A galaxy of restaurants in Kisumu and its environs have of late been plagued with such incidences but their efforts to correct the situation has been hampered by connections and financial muscles of top managers from the Equator Bottlers.

Some of the hapless victims are now threatening legal action against the company as the only option.

And this time round, as the soft drinks impurities saga continues to take its toll, generating heat and concern among the consumers of the Coca-Cola soft drinks internationally, since its a global commercial outfit, a call to the relevant personalities could not be returnedimmediately

The consumer watchdog might be either having an avalanche of tasks or still clutching on objects to apply necessary remedial measure on these unending health-hazard drinks.

Cocacola and fanta orange seized last week:

The former, sealed, was half filled and the latter extremely darker. Both had visible impurities.Two bottles, too, originating from the Equator Bottlers based in Kisumu were seized by this hawk-eyed journalist in the recent past from one of the leading restaurants in the town. In one of the bottles (Fanta) yet to be opened was a bolt. The other (Sprite) contained a plastic material. When he was probed further the owner of the restaurant said this was not the first time bottles from the company was being seized with impurities.

By Shem Kosse ( cell phone +47254723103445 or +254733380116

Published by African Press International (API)/ African Press in Norway (APN) tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525

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