- The MPs were concerned that KMC will become a restricted area following its handover to the Defence ministry.
- The PS explained that nothing has changed and that the facility is operating normally.
Farmers have access to Kenya Meat Commission despite its handover to the military, Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga assured legislators on Thursday.
This was in response to MPs' demand for answers on what informed the transfer of KMC from Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Defence.
The lawmakers said the transfer raised a lot of questions especially the hurried manner in which it was conducted without the involvement of the main stakeholders.
Wajir East MP Rashid Amin was concerned about the fate of farmers—the major stakeholders—now that KMC is a " military installation".
Rashid also demanded answers on the fate of civilian workers contracted by KMC and why public participation was not conducted before the transfer.
"The President cannot just wake up and issue an Executive Order. What advice did the ministry give the President?" he asked.
"This is a public entity where all members have a stake. Am not sure whether farmers will continue to do business now that it is a military installation."
The MP also wanted assurance on the future of civilians employed by the commission.
The lawmaker further questioned whether the government had suspended the KMC board which, according to the law, should have representation from the farmers.
His Awendo counterpart Walter Owino faulted the transfer, saying it will elbow out farmers who depend on KMC to market their products.
"We know how military installations operate. How is accessibility going to be dealt with?" Owino asked.
Hamadi assured the MPs that nothing significant has changed as far as the operations of the commission is concerned noting that only reporting ministry has shifted from Agriculture to Defence.
"KMC is still operating without any change. The only difference is that the reporting ministry is Defence and not Agriculture.
"KMC is still selling meat to the military, civilian and any other buyer it gets. It is not a restricted area," the PS said.
He told the lawmakers that the Executive Order is not a subject of public participation.
Last month, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya directed the transfer as per the President's order.
“You are directed to facilitate a seamless transfer of KMC to the Ministry of Defence,” Munya said in a September 7 memo to the PS, State Department of Livestock and copied to KMC managing commissioner James ole Seriani.
- mwaniki fm