Siaya County’s Department of Enterprise and Industrial Development has launched a massive crackdown on unscrupulous traders using faulty weighing and measuring machines to fleece customers of their hard-earned cash beginning this month of September 2018.

Led by Enterprise Executive Mr. Jaoko Oburu and The Director of Weights and Measures Mr. Philemon Angila, the department has vowed to crack the whip against unscrupulous businessmen found stealing from Kenyans with faulty weighing machines.

While handling some of the faulty weighing machines confiscated from butcheries in town, The Director noted that some business people have tampered with the various weighing equipment, minting millions of shillings from the public by selling goods in quantities less than laid-down market standards.

“We have ordered for a major crack-down targeting butcheries, cereal traders and fuel stations to verify all weighing and measuring equipment,” said Mr. Oburu adding that every weighing machine used for trade must be verified and stamped every year.” Angila said nobody including influential businessmen engaged in the fraudulent ways that fleeces members of the public would be spared.

“Those engaged in fraudulent businesses in the County would not be spared in the massive inspections and we are optimistic that the courts will ensure justice so that traders get value for their money,” said Angila. He added that a few of the machines they have confiscated have stones tied under them depriving the public of at least 85 grams of any quantity of measured meat.

“Legal action will be taken against those found guilty and even persons who fail to comply,” said Angila. “We did an impromptu visit to Boro Market recently and found a woman trading on maize while exploiting the customers with its plastic tin. In Hawinga market, a man owning a pork butchery was found using weighing machines with fastened stone underneath thereby reflecting wrong weights. “Due to exploitation of farmers by the middle-men they have been left to live in abject poverty. We will protect our farmers from such exploitation by ensuring the complete formulation and implementation of weights and measures policy,” said Angila.

During this interview at their Siaya Offices, The Enterprise Department further advised citizens to always request traders to let the measuring machines in the butcheries balance before they are served with any quantity of meat and that the same is also applied to those engaged in cereals enterprises. In October 2018, officers from the department will be traversing the county on a sensitization tour to educate the public on recommended machines and measurements equipment and tins.

“We are also going to inspect fuel pumps in various fuel stations to ensure they are at zero levels or at 0.02 percent on new fuel pumps. If not correctly put, the pumps will be adjusted and county seal put to prevent fraud,” said Angila. The crackdown also targets adulterated fuel that contribute to break-down of many vehicles including the County vehicles.