Why Uhuru should not have fired CS Mwangi Kiunjuri

By RAPHAEL MUCHIRI WANJOHI | Wednesday, Jan 15th 2020 at 08:42
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Yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta reshuffled the cabinet, and one of the surprising moves was the firing of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri. I don't think Uhuru made the right decision by letting Kiunjuri go.

In order to understand how the president reached a point of terminating Kiunjuri service as a CS, we need to first look at how the maize problem began. Because, it is the maize woes that put Kiunjuri out of a job, today.

Just before the 2017 general election, Uhuru and his campaigners bought maize from Mexico and sold it to Kenyan maize millers. That's why the unga price was pushed down to Sh90. Kiunjuri was in full support of this strategy. After all, the 90 shillings unga made Jubilee win.

Later on, in 2018, Kiunjuri was made the CS of Agriculture. He inherited a lot of problems. Uhuru started pressuring him to fix the maize problem. But Kiunjuri could not because the 90-bob unga interfered with everything. The influx of maize from Mexico disrupted how the maize sector operates. It created a surplus, so when the farmers produce was ready, the NCPB could not have bought it as usual because their stores were full of imported maize. It is a whole issue of supply chain management and inventory management in warehouses. That problem is still disturbing them now, and it is not going away any time soon.

Now, Uhuru has given up on Kiunjuri. He has axed him. Kiunjuri may appear to be innocent, but he is not. He was there when the maize problem was created, and he did not stop it then. Uhuru, on the other hand, is the creator of the maize problem. And even putting Peter Munya in charge of Agriculture will not change a damn thing. Reshuffling will not make the problem go away.

In my opinion, both of them are to be blamed for the maize problem and so no one should carry the cross alone. Kiunjuri is paying for an economic crime committed by Jubilee campaign managers in 2017, and Uhuru is assigning blame and distancing himself from the maize problem, and yet he was the one who commissioned its creation back in 2017.

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