Agriculture CS, Peter Munya’s absence from Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua’s event elicited sharp criticism from Kenya Kwanza allies, who accused him of absconding duty.
Gachagua flagged off a consignment of subsidised fertiliser to various parts of the country on Thursday, September 22.
Nandi Senator, Samson Cherargei, a close ally of Gachagua and President William Ruto called out Munya, arguing that he should have attended the press conference.
“CS Munya's absence in flagging off of subsidised fertilisers by DP Gachagua is gross indiscipline, violation of code of ethics and disdain attitude towards government.Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua addressing the media on September 22, 2022.Rigathi Gachagua
“He must be punished accordingly. Is he working for Kenyans or Azimio?” Cherargei wondered.
Munya’s absence came a few hours after Ruto’s administration barred outgoing CSs from travelling abroad. In a move to trim the powers of the CSs, the civil servants will seek permission from Ruto before travelling overseas.
CSs Munya, Fred Matiang’i (Interior) and Joe Mucheru (ICT) were among the harshest critics of Ruto and Gachagua. The trio led campaigns for Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate, Raila Odinga.
Meanwhile, DP Gachagua lauded Kenyans for their patience as he flagged the fertilizers whose prices were lowered from Ksh6,500 to Ksh3,500 per 50kg bag. The government released a Ksh3.5 billion subsidy to cover the price reduction.
“This is a strategic intervention to actualize Kenya Kwanza's promise of affordable farm inputs in our manifesto that was communicated during the swearing-in ceremony.
“Agriculture remains a backbone of Kenya’s economic and industrial development particularly in food production, income generation and production of raw materials for manufacturing.
He assured that the government was committed to achieving sustainable agricultural growth and transforming agriculture from subsistence to a commercially and globally competitive industry.
Ruto’s administration, he reiterated, prioritised agriculture as one of the pillars of the economic recovery plan.
Due to high demand, the government restricted farmers from purchasing more than 100-50kg subsided bags of fertiliser.Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei at an address in his office.Courtesy
The President, however, while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, USA called on investors to partner with Kenya in the production of fertiliser - a major farm input.
“And as we rededicate ourselves to these targets, we must, in the immediate term, find answers to the severe deficit in the availability, flow and accessibility of fertilizer to our farmers worldwide.
"I couldn’t agree more with Secretary-General Guterres on his warning right here yesterday, that “without action now, the global fertilizer shortage will quickly morph into a global food shortage” the President cautioned.
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