NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10 – The Multi-sectoral Forum, popularly referred to as the Y-10 movement, on Sunday gave Prime Minister Raila Odinga a five-day ultimatum to step aside from government to allow for investigations into the maize scandal.
Martha Wangari, one of the group’s conveners said Mr Odinga should lead by example by stepping aside and explaining his family’s and other government officials’ involvement in the scandal.
“We demand that Prime Minister Raila Odinga steps aside to allow investigations into Kenya’s most embarrassing corruption case that has taken food away from the mouths of poor starving Kenyans,” she said at a press conference in Nairobi.
The group also wants the premier to explain his role in the offloading of poisonous maize from South Africa, which they fear may have been distributed to starving Kenyans.
“We all know it is both illegal and wrong to allow poisonous maize to be offloaded into Kenya,” Mwengi Mutuse, another convener said.
He added: “Knowing how things work in Kenya, we would not be surprised if that maize is already being sold somewhere to an unsuspecting mwananchi.”
A report tabled in Parliament last month by The Departmental Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources recommended that the role of personal assistant to the Prime Minister, the PM’s family, the son and associates be investigated to establish the extent of their involvement in the scam.
The Y-10 group also demanded an explanation from ministers in charge of health to explain why they allowed poisonous maize to be offloaded.
“They should explain to Kenyans why the maize was offloaded contrary to the law and tell Kenyans where the maize is and how much health risk Kenyans may be facing as a result of the maize,” said Mutinda Karemba, spokesman for the group.
Hunger strikes and country wide protests are among the group’s plans of action should Mr Odinga fail to heed their call.
“We call on all the youth to join us as we go on a hunger strike and a day and night sit -in outside the office of the President and the Prime Minister culminating in a peaceful march to exert pressure on the premier and other corrupt officials,” Mr Mutinda said.
The youth group called on President Mwai Kibaki to take an assertive stand and deal with all those in his government tied to corruption allegations.