Fire Trade CS Munya over farmers’ woes, MPs urge Uhuru

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 00:00 |

Some Jubilee legislators want President Uhuru Kenyatta to fire Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya for allegedly failing to address the plight of tea farmers.

They  vowed to push for the revocation of Sessional Paper 1 of 1999, which made the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) a limited company, to revert its operations to the national government. 

The MPs from the tea growing regions of Mt. Kenya and Rift Valley were reacting to the 30 per cent drop in this year’s tea bonus earnings announced by KTDA.

Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira),  Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Moses Kuria(Gatundu South), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri), Japheth Mutai (Bureti), Erick Muchangi (Runyenjes) and Kathuri Murungi (Imenti South), among others, said they would not relent until the plight of farmers is fully addressed.

Although tea prices are determined by the performance of the crop in other jurisdictions internationally and the strength of the dollar, the more than 20 legislators accused  Munya of failing to deliver Uhuru’s promises to the farmers.

The MPs told the press at Parliament Buildings yesterday that  Munya  had snubbed five invitations to appear before the House Trade committee chaired by Kieni MP Kanini Kega to respond to queries relating to the tea industry. 

They further claimed he has never set foot in any tea factory to dialogue with farmers on the problems facing them.

Protect farmers

The MPs told Uhuru to crack the whip and order his CSs to move out of the comfort of their offices and start working for Kenyans.

  “These CSs have let this country down. Uhuru should crack the whip and order these CSs to go and dialogue with farmers so that we can get a solution to this matter,” said Gachagua.

Nyoro said they want  better prices for the farmers and not task forces that “continue making farmers poor”.

Kuria told the government to allow legislators to spearhead the process of reviving the tea and coffee industries while Muchangi said they will take action to protect farmers from further exploitation.

Mukami said the legislators want National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to order Munya to appear before the Trade committee. 

“We have tried to call Munya more than five times to come to Parliament and he has refused to do so,” she said.

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