Row brewing over report on revamping miraa business
The launching of a team to implement the recommendations of a task force on revamping the miraa business has been called off.
The Ministry of Agriculture has pushed the ceremony to Wednesday even as details about the committee membership remained scanty.
Some of those invited to the ceremony, which had been scheduled for Thursday last week at Kilimo House in Nairobi, said the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour.
Mr Mathew Osodo, the interim head of the Miraa Directorate at the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) said the ministry had postponed the function.
It was not immediately clear if the ministry would appoint new members to the implementing committee or retain those who were in the task force.
The task force had, among others, Agriculture PS Richard Lesiyampe, who was the co-chair alongside Geoffrey Nchooro M’Mwenda. David Ntawa served as the vice chairman. Former Igembe MP Joseph Muturia was also in the task force.
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Muturia on Sunday said he had not been invited to the Thursday meeting.
Igembe North MP Maore Maoka said it would be inappropriate to have those who served in the task force sit in the implementing committee.
“It will be clear conflict of interest for those who produced the report to be the same ones implementing it,” said Maore.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi accused the ministry of locking out Meru leaders from the process of establishing the implementation committee.
“It looks like the ministry’s mandarins have taken it upon themselves to carry out an activity that is important to this region without the participation of elected leaders. We shall see how it pans out,” said Linturi.
The Nyambene Miraa Traders Association (Nyamita) withdrew a case it had filed at the High Court in Meru, accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta of appointing the Miraa Industry Task Force without consulting stakeholders. The task force was formed in 2016.
After publishing its report last year, the President wanted to convert the task force into an agency to implement it. However, the High Court stopped the process.
Osodo said: “A consent signed by the two parties while withdrawing the case indicated committee should be representative.”