Today, the Agriculture and Food Authority wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Customs, Pamela Ahago. There it stated that it “stopped any further imports of the maize into Kenya with immediate effect”. It also said the reason why: “conducting surveillance on the safety of food imports to Kenya”. The last is: “Test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed higher levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits”.
When you read that it makes sense. You might wonder, what is mycotoxins? Well, it is: “Mycotoxins are toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds (fungi). Moulds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices” (…) “The effects of some food-borne mycotoxins are acute with symptoms of severe illness appearing quickly after consumption of food products contaminated with mycotoxins. Other mycotoxins occurring in food have been linked to long-term effects on health, including the induction of cancers and immune deficiency” (World Health Organization (WHO) – ‘Mycotoxins’ 09.05.2016).
We can be sure that the Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities will react to this. As they will not accept this and will be scorn. The Kenyan Authority is right in doing this. Especially with the concern of food safety and food for human consumption should be key priority. Therefore, to cease or suspend imports of Maize makes sense.
What is also striking is the amount of maize that is exported to the Kenya market from the neighbours, which a report in 2020 said: “Kenya imported 44,740 metric tonnes of white maize from the region in the second quarter of 2020, accounting for more than three quarters of the total grain sold across borders in the period in East Africa. The latest Food Security and Nutrition Working Group (FSNWG) East Africa Cross Border Trade report shows that 58 and 39 per cent of the imports came from Uganda and Tanzania, respectively” (Kevin Rotich – ‘Tanzania, Uganda supply majority of Kenya’s maize imports’ 03.08.2020).
The main importers of maize to Kenya comes from these two. That means the main imports has stopped and the ones who exports it to the Republic. This also means the Kenyans are losing their main sources of White Maize. Maize is staple in the ugali and therefore a vital commodity.
The UNGA is a important aspect and has been subsidized by the government in the past too. We cannot know if the Maize cartels will earn from this. Just like the previous stockpiling exercises in 2017 and 2018. UNGA have been questioned and how the state have treated it.
In June in 2017 CS Willy Bett said this: “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” (Ngotho, Agatha – ‘Kenyans eating more ugali to blame for unga shortage – CS’ (20.06.2017) link: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/20/kenyans-eating-more-ugali-to-blame-for-unga-shortage-cs_c1582605?platform=hootsuite).
It might come something similar happening now. As the state is directly losing its key trading partners who exports it to them. It is not like the Kenyans will stop eating UNGA. That is not happening. So, the need for maize flour will persist and we have to wonder where they will import it from now. Peace.
Just as the preparations for the 2022 elections are re-appearing as an ever present gift that keeps giving in the Republic. It is just 2 days after Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Raila Odinga called the Co-Principals “disloyal” and “untrustworthy” as they didn’t show up at his Swearing-In ceremony in January 2018. However, he betrayed the same ideals by doing the handshake in March 2018. When he discontinued and left the National Super Alliance (NASA) to restructure himself with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
That is why today’s Press Statement and Presser from Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) leader Stephen Kalonzo Mysoka is interesting. Kalonzo is a man who has the ability to join any ship and able to find a shelter. That is what he does and that is why his been called a “watermelon”. Still, his retort to ODM and Odinga is on point. Proving his capacity and maybe the reason why Kenyatta made him an envoy as well. Since, he know this man has a history and able to tell a story. That is what he did today.
Odinga and ODM might not like this. Because, Odinga want to be the branded righteous ‘Baba’. The ‘Father’ and the next in line. His the one who never became President, but his the one who should be default. That storyline has been played out for years and that’s why he sworn himself as ‘People’s President’. Still, what should be mentioned is how Odinga have breached the 2013 MOU of CORD. How he jumped the line with the NASA Presidential Candidate and now ushering himself as the next-up after Kenyatta in 2022. That is why his trying to brand Kalonzo and others as ‘disloyal’.
However, they we’re wrong in January 2018, but Odinga was disloyal in March 2018 himself. That is something Odinga and ODM will never say. Because, that undermines the ideals and the supposed “golden standard” he has himself.
Kalonzo still strikes back with something grander than that: “It is common knowledge that Hon. Odinga has been betraying political allies with abandon, right from his association with the National Development Party and KANU in 2001, right through to the Pentagon in 2007/2008, to CORD, and now, NASA. It is this mistrust and dishonesty that is depriving Hon. Odinga of his national outlook and support. Before the 2013 General Election, Hon. Odinga beat his chest as a disappointed Hon. William Ruto walked away from him, only for the 2013 results to reveal that Hon. Ruto had actually ran away with the Kalenjin voting block!” (WDM, 24.02.2021).
If you thought that was bad enough, he slings one harder one:
“Bottomline: Things will never be the same for Hon. Odinga. At the moment, he has earned the moniker of “Mr. Dishonest”. Additionally, he has cast himself as an extremely self-centered man who will get into power by hook or crook. He is a man who is extremely untrustworthy — a man who cannot keep promises. How can Kenyans trust such a man to be their President? For a man who cannot keep his word while in Opposition, how will he keep it while in power as President? Who will trust him?” (WDM, 24.02.2021).
Here he says it with a straight face. There is no underlining message. The memo is in the open. Just as he shows back to further than 2013. Kalonzo went back to 2001. That is 20 years of defaulting alliances of Odinga. Clearly, there is a reason for all of this. Just as there is a reason for changing camps for Kalonzo. Kalonzo have history of switching teams himself. However, he was loyal to CORD and NASA. To deny that is dumb now. Even as he lied and dropped out one day. But we have seen what happened to Miguna Miguna and proves how damaging it was to other. Nevertheless, Odinga betrayed that oath only to favour the BBI. This is why I get Kalonzo. Even if he is a melon and a switcher himself. His points are reasonable and shows a pattern.
Kalonzo have been part of KANU, NARC, CORD and NASA. So, he has switched sides when it has been beneficial for him. He has seen Odinga and worked with him as well. They got history together. Now, that Odinga and ODM went for the Co-Principals. This was a genuine response from him . Give credit where credit is due. This was a decent response and Odinga better think of another way forward. Because, his position is at play and he wants to be King. It is just a matter of how he finesses himself ahead. Now, his ditching NASA/CORD allies, which is because of his enriching agreement with Jubilee. That is how it seems.
Kalonzo doesn’t shred any tears, but has his knives out. Peace.
Today, the various of counties is voting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Report and ensuring the verdict for a possible referendum. That happens after the Members of County Assemblies (MCA) are promised a two million shillings car-grant at their disposal. That is promised to further their resolve and ability to serve their representative function, but we know the drill of this. This is a pay-off and a literal kick-back to get them to vote in favour of the BBI.
It is a sweetener and incentive to get a car-grant. People would not deny that. To get free money or a free car plus allowances and possible higher wages. Is all a sweet deal. That without doing anything for it. Then showing up at the County Assembly and vote for a bill in favour of the government.
BBI is for the dynasties and the elites. The BBI isn’t to better the Republic. The ones who believes that is foolish, as the changes of the Constitution is to give more power to the Executive Branch and ensure some more perks for the closest associates. That is the reality of it all.
Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta can act differently. They can say it is for the betterment, but that is still not the case. This is just a scheme and a safety-net for them. Also, to achieve the due process they want. It is their bargain and not something the public asked for.
The BBI is the bastard-child of these two. It is the one that will be synonymous with both. The handshake and the arrangement thereafter. This is the deal and what they had to offer. It shows their concern and what they are willing to do.
None of them can say anything else. This is the sort of play they push. They are responsible and it is their endgame. These folks can act a fool, but we shouldn’t get caught by the hype. The reality is the bleak aftermath of the BBI. That the one in power will absorb much more and have a bigger advantage. This is something they will not state, but the proof is in the pudding.
The BBI isn’t a deal for the masses. No, it is for the next President and his Court. It s for the next government and next person to rule supreme. The one who get the throne after Kenyatta. Will eat good and enjoy the spoils the BBI created. It will give more leeway.
Not that its nearly impossible. Since, Kenyatta with the BBI and handshake muffled, silenced and bought his opposition. They cannot go after him and must support him, as they are contained by the BBI. It has been a blessing, as Odinga have been the ‘cleaner’ and the defender of the state. While supposed to be an ‘opposition’ leader. It has been a golden era that way for him. Nobody will get the same satisfaction in the future. However, Kenyatta and his Jubilee fixed it.
Now that its steamrolling in the Counties. The next is the referendum itself. Which will be different, but the IEBC is ready to deliver. Just like it has done with other elections. Don’t be shocked if chickens, goats and kittens votes for the BBI. There always be a friendly ghost in Caspar to seal the deal. The general public don’t even have to support it. They still have the algorithms from the Fresh Presidential Elections to use in their advantage.
So, well… Super Tuesday is a positive day for ODM and Jubilee. Let see how this plays out but expect it to be in favour of the regime. That is how things are going. Nothing else stopping them and that is the truth. Peace.