Trade and Investment Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria is walking a tight rope after a section of political leaders allied to President William Ruto vowed to impeach him.
The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) MPs, the majority of whom hail from the President’s Rift Valley backyard excoriated Kuria for allowing the importation of Genetically Modified (GM) maize even before legal notice from the government.
Led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Pokot South MP David Pkosing, the lawmakers said they were shocked to learn that a ship loaded with GM maize had already docked at the Mombasa Port.
Cherargei insisted that the timing is wrong considering that maize farmers are presently harvesting the grain and competing with the ostensibly cheaper GM maize will be an extreme sport.
The leaders stated that they will not sit and watch Kuria demoralize local farmers.
“When we were planting maize, we spent about Ksh7,000 on fertilizer per kg. The price of petrol was also high. Importing maize will hurt maize prices in the country and our farmers won’t get returns for their sweat,” the Nandi senator said.
Pkosing added: “He (Kuria) will be the first Cabinet Secretary to leave office. We will impeach him. We will collect signatures if he does not change.”
They said the process to overthrow the minister will start as early as tomorrow if he fails to address their concerns swiftly.
Firstly, the MPs from maize-rich areas want Kuria to halt the importation of duty-free maize.
Secondly, they have demanded that the government buys maize from farmers before sourcing the grain from other countries.
The decision to import genetically engineered foods and plants after a ten-year ban has created much debate, with some State-leaning leaders joining the opposition chorus of protesting the move.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga promised to fight GMOs, arguing that aside from disfranchising local farmers, their safety for humans is in serious question.
However, the government thinks that GMO foods and plants will be a crucial tool in feeding the population given the climate changes that have resulted in failed rains