Residents of Kacheliba area, North Pokot Sub County have protested the County government’s decision to buy food from other regions and faulted the County government for not following the right procedure in buying the maize.
The angry residents who carried twigs and placards marched in the area accusing the County leadership of not giving a chance to local farmers to sell their maize to the Kacheliba National Cereals and Produce Board.
They said that locals should be given the first priority in maize supply accusing the County government of not advertising the tender and not involving locals in the procurement process.
Led by former Suam ward representative Mr. Jackson Korikwangan, they condemned the malicious process where local farmers were denied the chance and right to sell their maize to the cereals board.
“We received about 500 bags of maize to Kacheliba Cereals labelled West Pokot County and we don’t know how much was paid and where it came from. We should know the company doing the maize business, which newspaper advertised the tender for maize supply,” he said, “Who was given the tender and which contractor awarded the tender?”
They called on the area Members of County Assembly, area members of parliament and area Senator to intervene in the matter and called on the national government and EACC to conduct investigations on how the maize was taken to the area.
However, area Governor John Lonyangapuo dismissed the allegations saying that those accusing the current administration of the maize saga are cartels who used to steal from the former County government.
He said that they followed the right procedure, outlined in his manifesto where he promised to buy relief food and keep it in strategic grain reserves stores which shall be given to locals during spells of hunger.
“We shall give out the maize in April, May, June, and July, those criticizing the Governor have been ill-advised,” he said. Governor Lonyangapuo reiterated that the county government bought 20,000 bags of maize.