- The maize on board the African Merlin vessel arrived in the country before Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria gazetted the importation of duty-free maize
- The CS said the government would not import maize but allow maize millers and other private investors to import the commodity
- Many who reacted to reports questioned how the maize consignment arrived in the country quickly
Kenyans have reacted angrily following reports that maize imports had docked at the port of Mombasa before a gazette notice was issued.
Nation reported that a ship carrying 10,000 tonnes of imported maize would dock at the port of Mombasa on Tuesday, November 22, days after the government allowed a duty-free window for the produce.
The reports over the consignment arriving in the country have elicited mixed reactions from Kenyans on social media, considering it’s getting into the country before an official gazette notice is released to legally allow imports.
The ship’s manifest from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) reportedly shows the goods onboard an African Merlin vessel.
Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria announced on Monday, November 21, that the said gazette notice would be out in the week.
“The gazette notice that we will release will open up the market to millers and anyone to import maize duty-free for six months. The government will not import any maize,” Kuria tweeted.
Various social media platforms have been dominated by discussions surrounding the consignment at the port.
TUKO.co.ke highlighted some of the comments below;
“These Guys are thugs! How does a ship docks before a gazette notice ….this is a true gangsters paradise!!!! Living in a Kleptocracy!”
“This country has its owners… Nakuambia mweshimiwa hata Narok county inaeza uzwa ukisimama tu. Na hakuna kitu yenye utafanya. Ogopa sirkal.”
“The truth is, the topmost leadership of this govt is not interested in promoting sugar and maize industries. They earn billions weekly importing cheap maize and sugar. If you doubt, go to the port.”
“Not surprising at all. The maize imports was announced when the ship was already around Mombasa port. It has always been the practice…the script is the same!”
“Surprised about a ship with all the maize we need already docking in MSA? This has happened with startling regularity.”
Importation of GMO
This came after Kuria announced plans to import Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) maize into the country.
Kuria said this was the government’s response to the food situation in the country, which has seen Kenyans die from hunger.
Kenya and most of the horn of African countries are reported to be facing the worst drought and famine in the last four decades.
“In view of the food situation in the country, I shall be signing instruments to allow duty-free imports of GMO and non-GMO Maize for the next six months,” said Kuria.