Martha Karua Warns Of Scandal In Ruto's Govt

She believed that the rules of importation have been disregarded when ordering 10,000 tonnes of the staple product

Martha Karua Warns Of Scandal In Ruto's Govt
A collage of Martha Karua and President William Ruto during past addresses. /VIRALTEAKE

Azimio la Umoja principal, Martha Karua, has warned of a scandal that might emerge in regard to the importation of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize into Kenyan territory.

In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, November 23, the NARC Kenya party leader poked holes at the President William Ruto-government's hasty decision to clear the consignment to enter the Port of Mombasa even before an official gazette notice is issued by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria. 

She believed that the rules of importation have been disregarded when ordering 10,000 tonnes of the staple product, an action she also termed as unnecessary given that local farmers were harvesting their produce.

Karua attributed President Ruto to a scandal that occurred when he was the Minister for Agriculture and that allowing the importation of GMO maize would trigger another scandal.

A picture of maize and its products. /FILE

"Maize, Maize, Maize. Source of daily meal for a majority of Kenyans. To wheeler dealers, a get-rich-quick medium is imported often needlessly at the expense of the local farmer. In the grand coalition government as agriculture minister William Ruto was associated with the maize scandal

"We are now set for season two of the Maize scandal, ships docking with the consignment of Maize before rules of importation are known and when local farmers are harvesting. To add to the mix is purported cabinet approval for GMO products to enter the country," she wrote.

Weighing in on the lifting of the ban on GMO crops after 10 years, Karua termed the move as illegitimate, given that the decision was made during Cabinet meetings that featured members from former President Uhuru Kenyatta's regime.

"Once a president is inaugurated after elections the reign of the outgoing ends and the outgoing cabinet is dissolved by operation of law. The purported cabinet meetings with Uhuru’s cabinet after the inauguration are a nullity.

"Decision on GMOs no more than a roadside declaration and therefore illegitimate," she added.

The maize importation fiasco saw Members of Parliament (MP) fault CS Kuria, and subsequently triggered threats to have him impeached- the first Cabinet member in Ruto's regime to face an ouster.

How a Cabinet Secretary Is Removed From Office

Led by Pokot South Member of Parliament Pkosing David and supported by a section of his United Democratic Alliance colleagues, the lawmakers announced that they would begin the process of collecting signatures to oust the CS. However, they must follow a detailed process according to the 2010 Promulgated Constitution, if they decide to honour their threats.

Article 152 states that a CS can either leave office by resigning, being fired by the President or through removal by a parliamentary process. In the parliamentary process, a motion will be sponsored by an MP and must be supported by at least a quarter of the house.

Given that there are 349 MPs, at least 87 lawmakers will have to support the proposed motion. However, it must be based on substantiated grounds.

"The motion can be on grounds of a gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or of any other law; where there are serious reasons for believing that the Cabinet Secretary has committed a crime under national or international law; or for gross misconduct," reads the article in part.

The MPs here would likely consider Moses Kuria's case whereby he allowed the maize importation without a gazette notice being published and ratified by the cabinet. The motion would then be tabled on the floor of the house and will need the backing of a third of the house (116 MPs) for it to proceed.

'If a motion under clause (6) is supported by at least one-third of the members of the NA, the assembly shall appoint a select committee comprising eleven of its members to investigate the matter. The select committee shall, within 10 days, report to the assembly whether it finds the allegations against the Cabinet Secretary to be substantiated," reads the constitution in part.

During the proceedings, the CS will have the right to appear at the House and explain his or her actions, if the grounds are deemed to be substantiated.

A vote will then be done in the August House on whether the CS should be removed and a report must be adopted by the majority. The decision will then be communicated to the President (the appointing authority) who is then required to dismiss the CS.

Trade CS Moses Kuria speaking at Strathmore University on November 17, 2022. /TWITTER.INDUSTRYKE