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BAD DECISION

Savula protests closure of food reserve fund

Says the decision was ill-advised and will have serious ramifications on country’s food security.

In Summary
  • Lawmaker said he has already filed a motion with the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and is waiting approval.
  • Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani in a gazette notice dated June 17 revoked the appointment of board members.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula addresses the press outside Chevaywa TTI in the constituency on June 15, 2020
PROTEST: Lugari MP Ayub Savula addresses the press outside Chevaywa TTI in the constituency on June 15, 2020
Image: HILTON OTENYO

Lugari MP Ayub Savula has said he will move a motion in Parliament to seek reversal of a decision by Treasury to disband the Strategic Food Reserve Trust Fund.

Savula said the decision was ill-advised and would have serious ramifications on the country’s food security.

The lawmaker said he had already filed the motion with the National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and was waiting approval.

 

He said that the decision to disband the board and move it to the National Cereals and Produce Board as a department had exposed the country to a food security threat.

The SFRTF was established by the Public Finance Management Act in 2015 and was meant to provide the Strategic Food Reserve with physical stock and buy maize, beans, rice, fish, powdered milk and canned beef.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, in a gazette notice dated June 17 revoked the appointment of board members Abbas Maalim, Lucas Chepkitony, Susan Wairimu and Gerald Musila in the ongoing reforms in the agriculture sector.

The CS said that the appointment of Noah Wekesa as chairman lapsed on October 20, 2019.

But on Saturday, Savula said the move will hurt other items that don’t fall within the mandate of the NCPB like canned beef, powdered milk and fish.

"The fear is that the over Sh10 billion in the accounts of the fund is going to be spent without any oversight. What happens to items like milk, canned beef and fish which are not cereals?” he said. 

Savula said President Uhuru Kenyatta could have been misled by his ministers to do away with the board that has been managing the fund since its establishment after being infiltrated by cartels in the sector.    

Edited by Henry Makori