Wednesday September 30, 2020
Agriculture CS Peter Munya (third left) and EALA MP Mpuru Aburi (fourth left) share miraa with other leaders in Maili Tatu Stadium in Meru County on September 27, 2020. Charles Wanyoro | Nation Media Group
The miraa crisis in Meru County has taken a dramatic political turn amid claims that Deputy President William Ruto was using leaders in the region to undermine President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, East African Legislative Assembly member Mpuru Aburi and a section of ward reps now claim that some members of Parliament are being used by the DP to discredit the President over the woes facing miraa farmers.
They said the MPs were moving around blaming the government for the dwindling fortunes of the economically crucial crop in a bid to sow seeds of discord and cause residents to hate the President while presenting Dr Ruto as the saviour.
While addressing miraa farmers in Maili Tatu stadium in Igembe Central, Mr Munya said the MPs were planning demonstrations and riling up public emotions through local radio and TV stations yet the issue affecting the sector required tact and diplomacy.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi told a meeting at Burieruri High School that the government was responsible for the closure of the lucrative miraa market in Somalia and vowed to mobilise demonstrations if the issue is not resolved within two weeks.
Mr Linturi and MPs Kubai Kiringo (Igembe Central), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Maoka Maore (Igembe North), John Mutunga (Tigania West) and Josephat Kabeabea (Tigania East) skipped Mr Munya’s meeting where he disbursed Sh122 million to Mwenge Miraa Sacco.
“They are threatening to hold demonstrations yet they know the issue requires bilateral talks between Kenya and Somalia,” said Mr Munya, adding that Mr Kenyatta was pursuing diplomacy with the Somalia government.
He pointed out that it was President Kenyatta who categorised miraa as a cash crop and allocated funds to boost its production.
Mr Mpuru said the MPs who were now criticising the Head of State were the same ones who, in 2017, were scrambling for his image to put on their campaign posters to boost their chances of winning the polls.
He said the MPs were not sincere in their quest to help miraa farmers and were using the current problems to push the DP’s political agenda.