"Believer of the Bible" Linturi says conscience is clear

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has dismissed plans by a section of leaders to impeach him over the fake fertiliser scandal, saying his conscience is clear. 

Linturi defended the government's fertiliser subsidy programme saying it had increased agricultural production and consequently lowered the cost of goods.

The CS said he would not lose focus because he chose to deliver his mandate 'quietly' to ensure the president's aim to develop the agriculture sector was on course.

"I am in government, and the President understands the work that I am doing. I do not fear threats. I am working to empower farmers," he said.

"Let us stay away from the propaganda. I am a believer and believer in the Bible," said Linturi.

"The Bible gives me strength. Some people want to bring other issues when I am succeeding in my work."

The CS, who was representing Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during a funds drive at Riiji Catholic Parish, said when he took over the ministry, the cost of living was high, and there was a food shortage.

He said the government was forced to import rice and maize, but he worked to register 6.5 million Kenyans to benefit from government subsidy programmes.

"I am proud that Kenya is now self-sufficient in maize production. We subsidised fertiliser," he said.

He assured residents that he was accountable and responsible enough and had not done any wrong and expressed confidence in Parliament's ability to disassociate itself from propaganda.

A section of Meru county politicians defended Linturi who is facing onslaught from a section of MPs.

The leaders claimed that the plan to impeach the CS over the fake fertiliser scandal was political.

Led by Central Imenti MP Moses Kirima, they said Linturi had not done anything wrong to warrant impeachment.

"We know those behind the (plan) to impeach you," Kirima said.

The MP claimed that Linturi's opponents were out to bring him down. "It is the Kenya Kwanza government they are targeting," he said.

The Cooperatives Principal Secretary said the CS was a 'victim' of his good work.

At the same time Linturi revealed that the tea bonus for this year will not be below Sh70.

"It will not be less than what you got last year," Linturi said, adding that the National Cereals and Produce Board was buying maize at a good price.

The CS announced that as part of the empowerment of farmers, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will oversee the elections of tea directors on June 30.

Linturi said President Ruto's administration was keen to deliver on its mandate to strengthen the marketing of agricultural products.

"The general food situation in the country looks good," he said.

The CS said the DP wants the Meru leaders to unite to ensure the region benefits economically.

MCAs Patrick Muthuri, Doris Gakii and former nominated MCA Mwendia Muguna, the Secretary of Devolution Empowerment Party (Meru branch), dismissed MPs plotting to impeach Linturi saying his record at the ministry was good and he was delivering on President Ruto's agenda of increasing agricultural production and food security.

Muthuri defended the CS saying he has done well in ensuring farmers benefit from the fertiliser subsidy and other agricultural programmes.

"Linturi has performed on reducing the cost of living through subsidy programmes and supporting farmers. He is being fought for nothing," Muthuri (Abothoguchi West Ward) said.

Ms Gakii said the CS's efforts to support farmers were bearing fruit and they have faith in his work.

"We have had good (agricultural) yields," she said.