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Martha Karua: Maize offers get-rich-quickly route for Kenyan wheeler-dealers

NARC-Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua addresses a press conference at Ufungamano House in Nairobi on November 17, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

NARC-Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua has said importation of maize at a time when Kenya has enough production allows for rogue politicians and businessmen to get rich quickly.

Her remarks follow the revelation by Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria that the government is planning to import ten million bags of GMO maize within six months to bridge the supply deficit in the local market.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, November 23, Karua criticised the decision, saying the move would only allow a few rogue people to get rich quickly.

“Maize, maize, maize. A source of daily meal for a majority of Kenyans. To wheeler dealers, [it is] a get-rich quick medium, imported often needlessly at the expense of the local farmer,” said Karua.

The former deputy presidential candidate in the August 9, 2022 General Election referred to President William Ruto’s tenure as Agriculture minister in the grand coalition government, when maize scandal rocked the Executive.

“In the grand coalition government as Agriculture minister, Ruto was associated with maize scandal. We are now set for Season Two of the maize scandal, ships docking with consignment of maize before rules of importation are known and when local farmers are harvesting,” alleged Karua.

She further stated that Ruto was in a hurry to lift the GMO ban that had been in existence since 2012 by engaging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet which was on its way out.

According to Karua, the president’s move to lift the ban was null and void because he engaged a Cabinet that had limited powers.

However, Article 153 of the Constitution on the Decisions, Responsibility and Accountability of the Cabinet says that the Cabinet’s decisions must be in writing, and the Executive members have to convene to agree.