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CS Peter Munya terms Bomet-Iran tea export deal 'fake'

RIFT VALLEY
By Gilbert Kimutai | July 16th 2021

CS Peter Munya (inset) county had neither exercised caution nor engaged experts. [Standard]

The Ministry of Agriculture has weighed in on a Memorandum of Understanding between Bomet County and the Islamic State of Iran to sell tea directly.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya termed the deal as fake, saying the national government does not recognise the agreement between Bomet Governor Hilary Barchok and Iranian ambassador to Kenya Jafar Barmaki.

Munya said despite Dr Barchok and Dr Barmaki flagging off a consignment of 84 tonnes of tea sourced from private companies three weeks ago, the same had not reached the port of Mombasa by Wednesday, July 14.

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok and Iran Ambassador Jafar Barmaki during the flagging off of the first consignment. [Gilbert Kimutai, Standard]

He questioned where the county had sourced the tea from without engaging the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) factories which are dominant processors.

“Where did they get the tea when KTDA was not involved?” said Munya.

The CS said while the deal was good, the county had neither exercised caution nor engaged experts.

He accused the county of disregarding US sanctions facing Iran. “Iran is faced with sanctions on trade and nobody can purport to overlook such serious issues,” added Munya.

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok and Iran Ambassador Jafar Barmaki. [Gilbert Kimutai, Standard]

However, Barchok has come out guns blazing to defend the deal.

Speaking to the press in his office, Barchok termed the statement by the CS as ''very unfortunate and reckless''.

“I believe that the Agriculture CS is speaking from a point of ignorance to think that all the tea belongs to KTDA and are the only processors within our region,” he said. 

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