NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 23 — Former Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua has raised the red flag over the reported arrival of a 10,000-tonne maize consignment from an undisclosed origin terming the incident as a clear signal for an impending scandal.
Karua whose bid to become the nation’s Deputy President flopped after her alliance lost the August 9 presidential election was reacting a news report by the Business Daily (BD).
BD published an article on Tuesday citing a manifest it had seen from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) which the consignment expected at the Mombasa port was onboard an African Merlin vessel.
The Narc Kenya Party Leader said the import will constitute a maize scandal of monumental proportions only seen before during the 2008-2012 Grand Coalition Government which she served in.
Terming the move irregular, Karua said the imports outside the framework of a legal instrument in the for of a Gazette Notice will disenfranchise local farmers expecting a harvest in the coming months.
Karua also contested a move by President William Ruto’s administration to allow the importation of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) foods, mainly maize, into the country after a ten-year ban as ‘illegal’.
She argued Ruto lacked the mandate to push through such an approval during the transition period when he chaired a Cabinet consisting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appointees.
Karua opines that upon inauguration of a new Head of State the outgoing Cabinet automatically stood dissolved.
“Once a president is inaugurated after elections the reign of the outgoing ends and outgoing cabinet dissolved by operation of law. The purported cabinet meetings with Uhuru’s cabinet after inauguration a nullity. Decision on GMO is no more than a roadside declaration and therefore illegitimate.”
Karua claimed that the perennial crisis in the maize sector is being propagated by cartels out to make a quick killing at the expense of the Kenyan farmer.
“Maize, Maize, Maize. Source of daily meal for a majority of Kenyans. To wheeler dealers a get rich quick medium, imported often needlessly at the expense of the local farmer,” Karua added.
Members of Parliament drawn from maize-growing areas have vowed to collect signatures to remove Trade and Industries Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria from office.
The threat to impeach Kuria followed his announcement that he will be issuing a Gazette Notice to allow the importation of duty-free maize.
The MPs revealed that they will institute Kuria’s removal before they break for their Christmas recess.