Notorious ‘lumbesa’ gets Govt attention
billion every year is lost– the money that amount to more than twice health budget of KShs 41.5 billion.
“Tax avoidance in poor countries has impacts and this is, the US$138 billion lost to corporate income tax breaks given by poor countries which is enough to pay for the education of 57 million children who currently THE Weights and Measures Agency (WMA) is working on new measures that will assist in combating oversized sacks (lumbesa) which are still a challenge hindering economic development in the country.
The move follows the directives given by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on March 23 this year by instructing WMA to initiate and implement better strategies which will see the abolishment of ‘lumbesa’ in the country.
As part of Government’s efforts to boost economy in the country and ensure substantial development, WMA is working closely with other government institutions and other stakeholders in ensuring all traders as well as consumers abide to the rule and ethics in accordance to the existing laws.
Speaking as part of the commemoration to mark the world Metrology day last week, the WMA Acting Director, Stella Kahwa, said the agency had conducted a special inspection program on the over-sized sacks (lumbesa) since May 4-18 this year as part of the new move to end the problem.
She said that the agency will continue taking various legal measures against those who ignore the use of verified and legal metrology, including taking them to court with regard to WMA Act as it was amended in 2002, although it has to be updated.
“With this program, we have noted that 1172 businessmen were apprehended and paid a fine of about sh123million as part of the legal measures taken to end the problem.
WMA insists on the appropriate measurements in businesses. It is illegal for anyone to sell or use unauthorized measurements,” she said.
She noted that the agency is responsible for providing protection to consumers in relation to legal metrological control, which includes legal control of measuring instruments, metrological supervision and expertise.
On his part, the WMA Calibration Manager, Richard Kadege, said for the local farmers to benefit from their crops they need to refuse selling oversized foods sacks which is also illegal business.
Kadege urged the gas retailing agents to procure gas measuring equipment to help consumers recognize the amount of what they are paying for.
He asked them to ensure that the equipment measures quantity of the gas indicating gross weight, net weight and tare weight in order not to cheat customers.
He said that WMA will continue to remind the public that they should be keen with such measurements when they purchase gas for their domestic use.
According to the law establishing the agency, gas equipment should indicate quantity of gas being sold to a customer in order to avoid cheating.
The top should indicate gross weight, net weight and tare weight, it notes.