A section of Members of Parliament say they will, starting Wednesday, November 23, collect signatures to remove Moses Kuria as the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Trade and Industrialization.
Led by Pokot South MP David Pkosing, the lawmakers want Kuria impeached over his stand on the importation of GMO maize into the country.
Kuria had said that the government would open a six-month window for the duty-free importation of ten million bags of GMO maize.
Pkosing says Kenyan maize farmers are currently in the harvest season, and that the government’s plan to allow importation of GMO maize, if implemented, would disenfranchise the local farmers.
“Starting tomorrow (Wednesday, November 23), we will collect signatures to impeach Kuria as the CS for Trade. He should stay away from the maize discussion,” Pkosing said on Tuesday, November 22 during a press conference outside Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei claimed that several bags of GMO maize had already been imported into the country, yet the legal process of allowing the produce into Kenya had not been followed.
“It has never happened in Kenya that maize is imported during the harvest season [locally],” said Cherargei.
“There’s a deliberate move to kill maize farming in Kenya. The local sugar sector suffered the same fate in the previous regimes,” said Cherargei.
The legislators fear that an influx of maize from the foreign market would negatively affect maize prices in the country.
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Tigania West MP John Kanyuithia Mutunga, who is the chairperson of the National Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture and Livestock, said they had received reports that foreign maize had docked at the Port of Mombasa, though they were yet to confirm the accuracy of the claims.
Mutunga said, as a committee, they understand that the government intends to import BT maize, and not GMO maize.
Article 152 of the Constitution says that at least a quarter of the MPs (88 out of 349) should support a motion to remove a CS from office for the impeachment process to proceed to the next stage.
The president would, thereafter, decide whether to sack the CS, or not.
A minister can be impeached on grounds of gross violation of the Constitution, or of any other law, committing a crime under the national or international law, or gross misconduct.