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State sued over KMC takeover LSK in court to block Uhuru's KMC transfer

By Everlyne Kwamboka | September 19th 2020
Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki. [Elvis Ogina/Standard]

A decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to transfer the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to the military has now landed the government in court.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK), suing on behalf of the public, claims the president acted without amending the statute that created the commission it has been operating under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation.

High Court judge Anthony Mrima certified the matter as urgent and ordered that those sued be served with the papers before the case is heard on October 8.

LSK has named the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki as the legal representative of the government and CS Agriculture Peter Munya as the other respondent in the case in which KMC is an interested party.

In the petition, LSK is seeking a declaration the transfer is unconstitutional and an order quashing Uhuru’s order issued on September 7.

LSK says the Executive order has major effects since it would transfer associated budgets for the next schedule's supplementary budget to the Ministry of Defence.

It is also perceived that the order contains portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of KMC and that of the Ministry of Defence.

In his affidavit filed in court through lawyer Hosea Manwa, LSK president Nelson Havi says it is unconstitutional since both the defence and livestock ministries have their functions spelt out.

Section 8 (1) (b) of the Kenya Meat Commission Act assigns the functions of the commission to include carrying on the business on a wholesale basis of butchers, dealers and merchants in livestock and the carcasses, fresh products, hides, skins and offal’s thereof and in poultry, ice and any other chilled, frozen or fresh foods, and of manufacturers and general dealers.

“The Executive order amounts to commercialization of the KDF which is inconsistent with the provisions of the Forces Act,” Havi says.

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