Go ahead with maize order and you'll go home, MPs tell Kuria

The leaders also faulted President William Ruto's administration for allegedly failing to follow the law in its pronouncement on maize imports.

"We are aware that there are plans by the Ministry of Trade to import 10 million bags of duty-free maize, while this is the season of maize harvesting in major parts of the country. As MPs from maize growing regions we seek to know why ships are already docking at the port of Mombasa without the laid down legal procedures in place," said Nandi County Senator Samson Cherargei.

He was reacting to reports that a ship with a consignment of imported maize had already docked at the port of Mombasa, devoid of gazettement on the same. The ship is said to have come from Mozambique carrying 10,000 tonnes of maize.

Pokot South MP David Pkosing warned that should the government continue with the plan to import the maize, legislators would begin collecting signatures to impeach Kuria.

"Any agency that will import the maize will be on its own. There must be public participation and gazette notice before importation. If Trade CS Moses Kuria continues with this, we will impeach him. He is not above the law and should respect farmers," said Pkosing.

Should all else fail, the MPs vowed to obtain a court injunction to stop the planned importation of maize.

They also delved into GMOs debate urging the government to go slow and wait for formulation of laws to guide the process.

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Sabatia MP Clement Sloya demanded that the government halts the importation of maize until March next year when the country would have a clear understanding of what needs to be brought in.

"Importation of maize will demean the local farmer who forms part of the bottom-up economic model of our administration. The President should not overlook the plight of farmers and allow importation of maize which is more expensive," remarked Sloya.

Moiben MP Phylis Bartoo called for not only stopping the importation but also sustenance of the current maize prices to ensure farmers get good returns.

"We are at a critical stage in harvesting and we want the current prices maintained at around Sh5,000. Can we pause and allow farmers to sell maize? If the ship is already docking in Mombasa, do you want to kill these farmers, where do you expect them to take all the maize?" posed Bartoo.