Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has seven days to sort out and reveal the rot in the Agriculture Ministry that has led to farmers’ woes and maize problems, according to Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter. Picking up where he left last week, Keter criticized CS Kiunuuri, whom he said is unable to handle the tasks entrusted to him. Addressing the press at parliament on Thursday, Keter said if the CS can’t deal with the issues currently facing him, including the menace of cartels in the Ministry and the National Cereals Produce Board (NCPB) then he should resign. “The CS who is in charge of agriculture seems not to have the capacity to handle cartels who are within the Ministry…” he said.
After revelations by Kiunjuri that more than half of the maize in the NCPB silos is unfit for human consumption, Kenyans are faced with more questions than answers, considering the fact that the issue wasn’t made public earlier. However, the Nandi Hills MP has alleged that the move to avail bad maize to the NCPB silos was carefully orchestrated, adding that cartels took bad maize to the silos and in exchange took the good maize brought by farmers. He said when farmers had taken their maize to the stores in a depo, lorries were seen, in a unique queue heading to the silos fully loaded and coming out with other maize bags. He said maize from the Kenyan farmers wasn’t spoilt and that the bulk lies with the imported maize which came in from Mexico, Brazil through Kenya’s borders.
He said the announcement by millers that there is a maize shortage is also a move designed to ensure cartels gain from calls for fresh maize importation and is an artificial need, “How can you talk about maize shortage when farmers are declaring they have maize in stores?” he posed. He said the cartels want to create a public outcry where members of the public will complain about the high flour prices and this will ake the government import more maize.