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Ethiopian maize already here, says spokesman

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe has dismissed Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s claims that importation of maize from Ethiopia is being frustrated by the government, saying 13,000 metric tonnes of maize have so far been brought from the neighbouring country.

He termed Raila’s remarks as misleading and unfortunate saying the government had put in place several measures to protect the vulnerable in addition to ensuring the public is informed of what is being done to avoid anxiety and despondency.

Kiraithe said President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a delegation led by Agriculture Cabinet secretary Willy Bett to Ethiopia to negotiate maize imports in February.

“It is unfortunate that Raila, who is campaigning to be president, made misleading allegations about the government’s effort on this matter,” said Kiraithe yesterday in his weekly briefing.

He denied that maize is being imported from Mexico alone, saying imports from anywhere are welcome as long as they are certified to be fit for human consumption.

“The insinuation that anybody is frustrating certain importers is misguided. The government has no preference for maize from any destination or by any importer,” said Kiraithe.

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