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President Kenyatta dressed in military fatigue seen here with soldiers. /FILE

Kenya

Senators oppose transfer of meat commission to military

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17- Senators have opposed the transfer of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) to the military.

The transfer was announced this week through an Executive Order issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

While supporting a petition raised by Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka, the legislators led by Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua and Nominated Senator Abshiro Halake faulted the decision saying it is “dangerous for the military to take over a parastatal.”

“Is our military now a meat processor, is our military now a marketing agency and what kind of commercialization of our military is this and how is it going to add value?’’ Halake posed.

under the new order, the meat commission will be managed by the military.

“This idea that everything that does not seem to work should be given to the military to manage is very dangerous. As a son of a military man, I know the military is best kept at the barracks,” Wambua said.

Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and his Mandera counterpart Mohamud Maalim said KMC has been operating below capacity, grappling with an unreliable supply of raw material due to lack of funding hence the need to commercialize it.

“KMC should actually be commercialized and given to the private sector to run. For many years that has been the debate and that was the plan during the Kibaki’s government but the funding was not adequate,” Maalim said.  

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Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot faulted the government for lack of public participation in the decision that affects the ordinary Kenyans and called on the Senate to summon Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and his Defense counterpart Monica Juma to shed light on how the decision was arrived at.

“These games that are being played on our parastatals are old tactics that this Parliament should stand against. You deny them funds then after they have collapsed you buy them at a throwaway price. You cannot do these kinds of transfers of the public institutions without referring to Parliament. It is a provision under the law,” Cheruiyot said.

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