You have my blessings to eliminate cartels, Ruto tells Gachagua

President William Ruto (centre) with with his deputy Rigathi Gachagua (left).[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

President William Ruto has ordered his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua to crack the whip on cartels in the agriculture sector.

Speaking during a thanksgiving service at the Kerugoya Stadium yesterday, Ruto told Gachagua - who was in attendance - to go after the cartels who had taken hostage coffee, tea, and milk sectors.

"I have given you my blessings, deal with the cartels fully," said Ruto.

He said for years cartels had run the sectors at the expense of farmers who work hard but do not enjoy the returns. "We are changing how to run the country, in the two regions, senior persons controlled all the sectors-we are bringing change," said Ruto.

"Cartels are ruthless and merciless, but I know I will handle them. Ruto and I have no interest in the milk, coffee and tea sector, our main aim is to make farmers feel appreciated.''

The President said the cabinet secretaries could have handled the cartels but they were being threatened and intimidated.

"Use your power to handle them, ministers would have handled them but being in the system I know how frustrating they can do," Ruto added.

On cotton, the president said that the Mwea ginnery will be reopened so that farmers can have a place where they can deliver their produce.

The request was made by Mwea MP Mary Maingi who cited the challenges being faced by Cotton farmers for the lack of a ready market. Also in the pipeline are two dams that will be dug in Mwea to enhance irrigation in the semi-arid zone.

Gachagua said with Kirinyaga senator Kamau Murango, Gichugu MP Gichimu Githinji being the chair of agriculture at the senate and the National Assembly respectively, will ensure that cartels in the tea, coffee, milk and rice are dealt with.