Oliver Musembi and Mathew Ndung’u @PeopleDailyKe
Members of Parliament will lead countrywide demonstrations if a consignment of toxic rice impounded in Mombasa is allowed into the local market.
Legislators Gathoni Wa-Muchomba (Kiambu Woman Representative), Patrick Wainaina (Thika Town) and Wanjiku Kibe (Gatundu North) say parliamentarians must step out boldly to save Kenyans from being fed with poisonous products and subjected top economic emasculation.
At the same time, Wainaina said the sugar report, which was shot down by MPs, should be brought back to Parliament for further debate and action against those implicated in irregular importation of the commodity.
“Importation of sugar, rice and other commodities that are produced by our farmers including eggs and oranges amounts to economic sabotage. We cannot allow this and the Speaker of the National Assembly should make sure the sugar saga is pursued to a logical conclusion,” Wainaina said.
He added that all the sugar that illegally found its way into the country should be destroyed whether it is bad or not as a way of checking impunity and proposed that duty on all imported agricultural produce be increased as a deterrent.
Wa-Muchomba said it was shocking to learn that “even before the dust has settled on reports of importation of contaminated sugar, another consignment of suspect rice is in the high seas on its way to the Mombasa Port.” They spoke during a trade exhibition organised by Wa-Muchomba at Mang’u High School.
Others in attendance were Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira Woman Rep), Passaris (Nairobi) and Catherine Waruguru (Laikipia Women Rep), Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro and Zambian High Commissioner Brenda Muntemba who was the chief guest.
The MPs expressed concern over the “rampant and reckless” importation of agricultural produce which they said will cripple farming activities in the country.
The MPs urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to crack the whip and reign in on cartels in the government and the private sector who are likely to derail his Big Four agenda.
“Actualisation of the Jubilee agenda will be a mirage if the government does not bring down the cost of production. Unfortunately, this may not be the case since there are plans to raise the price of petrol and other petroleum products,” said Waruguru.
She said MPs will oppose a move to reintroduce interest rates capping through the Finance Bill and hike the price of petrol to Sh130 per litre from the current Sh113.
“Hiking the price of petroleum products will lead to a rise in bus fare and prices of consumer goods which only goes to punish Kenyans who are already suffering under the weight of high cost of living,” said Waruguru.
Wa-Muchomba said it is saddening that some individuals have been allowed to play with the lives of Kenyans by bringing into the country substandard or poisonous consumer goods.