Senate summons Munya after controversial locust old-age remark

Agriculture CS Peter Munya addressing the media.The CS has been summoned by parlaiment COURTESY

The Senate has summoned agriculture cabinet Peter Munya to appear over the locust menace rocking the country.

Speaking during a Senate session, deputy speaker Proffesor Kithure Kindiki directed that Munya must appear before the Senate agriculture committee on Wednesday to answer queries regarding locusts menace that has affected most parts of the country.

He pointed out that Munya ought to appear before the committee pointing that a swarm of locusts that have been witnessed in the country is a public interest matter which must be given the attention it deserves.

“I direct that the CS must appear before the Senate agriculture committee to answer questions over the locust invasion,” Kindiki said

“Failure to which he will face the consequences.” He added.

This comes less than a week after the CS said the swarms that have already spilled over to Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan were not a threat to food security as they are in their old age sparking public outrage.

“Don’t be worried. They are going to die. They are yellow in color. It means they are old locusts and they cannot harm crops. Their main concern now is looking for a place to lay their eggs,” he said.

The committee was scheduled to meet the CS on Monday but the meeting was rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances.

So far close to 20 counties have been affected as the government employs mechanisms to combat the catastrophe.

“This development transpires as billions of locusts swarming through Kenya and entire East Africa are the result of extreme weather swings and could prove catastrophic for a region still reeling from drought and deadly floods, ” experts warned.

Dense clouds of the ravenous insects have spread from Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya, in the region’s worse infestation in decades.

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the swarm in Kenya is around 2,400 square kilometers (about 930 square miles) — an area almost the size of Moscow — meaning it could contain up to 200 billion locusts, each of which consumes their own weight in food every day.

The locust invasion that has now spread to six countries in the region is the biggest in Kenya in 70 years.