FARMERS SUFFERING

Kisii MCAs walk in protest of failed coffee motion in assembly

Leader of minority James Ondari refuses request to back motion

In Summary

The MCAs walked out after speaker David Kombo ruled that the motion had died a natural death because it was not seconded by the Leader of Minority.

The motion came two weeks after Governor James Ongwae said that his administration has begun talks with researchers aimed at reviving the coffee sector.

A coffee plantation
A coffee plantation
Image: FILE

Twelve MCAs in Kisii on Friday walked out of the assembly in protest during a motion seeking to help coffee farmers.

The MCAs said that it was wrong for Leader of minority James Ondari to refuse an a request by Bogiakumu MCA Ismael Matundura to second the motion on coffee farming in the region.

Led by Matundura, Dennis Ombachi (Marani) Ibrahim Obuya (Sengera Bosoti and Paul Angwenyi (Sensi), the leaders accused Ondari of failing to support the motion even after Matundura consulted him.

 

“I am really angered by the Minority leader for his move to refuse to second the motion on coffee even after I consulted him in advance,” Matundura said.

The MCAs walked out after speaker David Kombo ruled that the motion had died a natural death because it was not seconded by the Leader of Minority.

“Honorable members I wish to tell you that the motion by Matundura has failed because  his colleague has rejected it,” Kombo said.

Adressing the press  after the walkout, Ombachi, Angwenyi, Ombuya claimed that Ondari refused to second the motion because his ward is not affected.

“This a dark day for us because our wards which have a number of coffee farmers have been experiencing problems. Ondari did not support the motion because his ward has no coffee farmers,” Ombachi said.

On his part, Ondari said that he did not second the motion because the mover failed to state whether he had seen the report of coffee task force formed four years ago.

 

In his motion, Matundura noted that despite the national government bailing out the coffee farmers by providing new model machines to replace the old ones, there has no effort to revive the coffee sector.

 

Ombuya said that Ondari’s move will not stop them from fighting for the rights of coffee farmers saying that they will reintroduce the same next Tuesday through another member.

The motion came two weeks after Governor James Ongwae said that his administration has begun talks with researchers aimed at reviving the coffee sector.

Ongwae who held day-long talks with officials from the Coffee Research Institute to discuss on how to revive the crop which he said not only the country’s   economic earner but also farmers but the county.

He said his administration is committed to revamping the sector to enable farmers reap maximum profits from their sweat.

The governor spoke during discussions with Director Coffee Research Institute, State Department for Agricultural Research Elisha Gitau.

“There is need to establish new practices that will help farmers to profitably engage in coffee production,” Ongwae said.

“My administration is in the process of revamping the coffee sector to make it more vibrant and economically sustainable for players engaged in its production,”  he added.

Ongwae noted that agriculture is a devolved function adding that for counties like Kisii where residents rely on the crop, institutions such as Coffee Research Institute (CRI) should intervene.