Kiraithe opposes Raila’s suggestion of importing maize from Ethiopia

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi,KENYA:The government has denounced the opposition chief, Raila Odinga’s assertion that it is supposed to import maize from  Ethiopia as a cheap way of averting  food crisis in the country .

In a media briefing in Nairobi on Thursday, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe downplayed Odinga’s assertion terming it incorrect by indicating that the government has so far imported 13,000 tonnes of maize scheduled to serve the country.

He further downplayed Odinga’s statement that importation of maize from Ethiopia as a viable  strategy of  solving the food crisis rocking the country.

Kiraithe said that the government had initiated importation of maize from Ethiopia by allowing millers to undertake the importation but the prices of 90 kgs of maize was pretty expensive retailing  at sh. 4400 to shs 5,000 .

“During the negotiations with millers who had expressed interest to import maize ,it became clear that a 90 kg bag of maize from Ethiopia would retail between sh 4400 and sh  5000 given obtaining dependent variables. The notion that this maize will be cheap is therefore grossly misguided.”Kiraithe said

He indicated that the government has instructed its department to uphold transparency and open tenders, also denying reports that some  departments in  the government were currently frustrating maize importation.

On Wednesday Mr. Odinga called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to fire agriculture CS Willy Bett and his principal secretary together with devolution and planning CS Mwangi Kiunjuri accusing them of failing in their duties hence  leading to the suffering of Kenyans from hunger.