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Inside Kuria-Linturi feud over GMO maize



The supremacy battle between Trade & Industry CS Moses Kuria and Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi goes way beyond the importation of GMO maize where exploitative businessmen allied to the Kenya Kwanza government are set to benefit to selfish interests.

Kuria has a bizarre love for controversies with his loose tongue and has this time round he over-stepped his boundaries by engaging Linturi in an open war over the importation of maize.

CS Linturi says the decision on importation of the controversial GMO maize lies with his office. He clarified that it is his ministry (Agriculture) that is mandated with import decisions after establishing the deficit that the country is facing in order to determine the number of bags to be shipped into the country.

“I am not aware of what Kuria said… I am the custodian of statistics on how much food we require in this country and what we consume every day. Right now my technical people have worked on all the deficit in terms of maize, beans and rice,” said Linturi.

Linturi made his remarks after Kuria claimed that the country will  import 10 million bags of GMO maize to bridge the local deficit and reduce the price of flour that has now risen to Sh213 for a two-kilogramme packet.

The Agriculture CS promised to make a comprehensive statement regarding food situation in the country and what needs to be done before the week ends.

His beef with Kuria is coming out in public just days after a group of MPs from both Azimio and the ruling coalition of Kenya Kwanza raised questions over the firms set to benefit from the importation.

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The MPs argued that Kenyan farmers risk incurring major losses as the market will be flooded by cheap imported maize amid claims that powerful individuals have already lined up to cash in at the expense of local farmers.

The feud between CS Kuria and Linturi is informed with greed as both of them are fighting to oversee the importation to pocket kickbacks or to use proxy firms to cash in.

The MPs also challenged Kenya Kwanza government to provide information on how the firms were identified as they claimed that the administration is being blackmailed by foreign powers that are looking for a market for their multinational companies.

Kenya’s Prime Cabinet Secretary, H.E Musalia Mudavadi [p/courtesy]

MPs allied to Opposition Chief Raila Odinga have also criticized the importation as they termed the decision “insincere and incoherent with the promises President Ruto made during the campaign period.

“Why has there been no effort to get ordinary maize from other parts of the world or was importation of GMOs part of the pre-election deal between President William Ruto and foreign backers?” Hon Opiyo Wandayi posed.

Opposition politicians argue that the current famine situation is being used as an excuse in a plot by highly placed government officials to defraud the country.

Linturi has been named in many scandals including a case where he forged signatures  to secure a Sh530 million bank loan using properties belonging to his estranged wife, Marianne Kitany.

And Moses Kuria in 2021 told BBC that  he pocketed $1000 bribe to back former Kipipiri Mp Amos Kimunya appointment as the Majority Leader in the National Assembly.

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The battle between Kuria and Linturi over who should oversee the importation of the maize forced Prime Cabinet Secretary H.E Musalia Mudavadi to weigh in as he clarified that the decision on imports is a mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The issue of importation of maize should be guided by a survey by the Ministry of Agriculture to find out if there is a deficit of the grains… it is agriculture docket that will issue an importation order looking at the food situation in the country,” said Mudavadi.





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