• Kassim wondered why the government was keen on the 'commercialisation of our military' and how the move was going to add value to the meat processor.
• 'Is our military now a meat processor? Is our military now a marketing agency?'
President Uhuru Kenyatta was misadvised to move the running of the Kenya Meat Commission from the Agriculture ministry to the Kenya Defence Forces, Wajir East MP Rashid Kassim has said.
Kassim wondered why the government was keen on the “commercialisation of our military” and how the move was going to add value to the meat processor.
“Is our military now a meat processor? Is our military now a marketing agency?” he asked in Wajir town on Thursday.
Kassim said the commission was not created to provide the military with meat. It was meant to generate income, provide local and external markets for livestock farmers.
Kassim regretted that despite the livestock sector being the backbone of the economy for Northern Kenya residents, no public participation was held there.
“Before you effect anything, you should involve the consumers, suppliers and other in public participation,” he said.
Senators have also opposed the transfer of KMC to the military.
The meat processor has been operating below capacity and is grappling with an unreliable supply of raw materials and an ageing plant, which have slowed down its operations.
The Athi River plant slaughters 200 cattle per week, despite it having the capacity to process the same number of animals per day.
The firm has performed poorly since the 1960s because of political interference, obsolete machinery and loss of the European Union market due to animal diseases.
While transferring it to KDF, the government said the military will boost its operations and survival.
On Wednesday, Livestock PS Harry Kimutai struggled to convince Parliament's Agriculture committee that the move was regular and in the best interest of the parastatal.