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Blow to Linturi as Court stops plan to implement Zambia maize deal

 Meru Senator Mithika Linturi. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The High Court has temporarily stopped Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi from implementing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) requiring Zambia to produce maize for exclusive export to Kenya.

Justice Mugure Thande has suspended the MoU following a petition filed by the Farmers Party of Kenya, arguing that the decision to contract Zambian farmers to carry out large-scale cultivation of maize for export to Kenya, is irrational and in gross violation of the Kenyan Constitution.

“After considering the principles for grant of conservatory orders at the exparte stage, I find that the orders sought in application are merited,” ruled Thande.

The Party, via its Secretary General Simon Kamangu, argued that the decision was akin to admission of failure of duty by the CS and by extension the Government, to support and provide enabling infrastructure for the local farmers to produce food locally.

The case which will come up for mention on May 16, 2023, was successfully filed by the Farmer's Party led by Irungu Nyakera, through their lawyer Chege and Sang CO Advocates.

Kenya and Zambia signed an agricultural trade agreement last month, to promote movement of agricultural commodities that will allow Kenya's private dealers to import maize and sugar.

Zambia Minister for Agriculture Dora Siliya said maize importers from Kenya will now acquire permits that would take a day to process as opposed to previous seven days

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