Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader and presidential aspirant Dr Alfred Mutua has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to constitute a team that will secure global markets for miraa (khat) produce.
The Machakos Governor said he is ready to lead a delegation and even act as a special envoy to go out and lobby foreign markets for the crop, mainly grown in the Eastern region of Meru and Embu.
“I have been in Meru and Embu region to listen to issues that affect its people and they left no doubt that they would like the government to urgently address the problem of markets for miraa,” Mutua said.
The people of Meru and Embu, Mutua said are further aggrieved by the exorbitant tax and levies on the produce imposed by county governments.
” In Kenya we have the Kenya Tea Board, the Coffee Board of Kenya, even a Pyrethrum Board. I don’t understand why the government has not established a board for miraa that will be responsible for issues affecting miraa farmers?” Dr Mutua wondered.
Dr Mutua urged President Uhuru to set up a miraa development board or authority to mainstream the miraa economy in Kenya.
Dr Mutua added that with his international experience, he is ready and willing to serve as an envoy mandated to look for foreign markets especially in the Middle East and the United Kingdom.
“There has been a strategy in this country by some politicians to disempower citizens by killing their local economies. We hope what is happening with Miraa is not a strategy by people hellbent on making the locals more susceptible to bribes and handouts in order to win their votes,” he said.
Speaking in Nyahururu town, Mutua also reiterated the need to fully constitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to avoid what he described as “last minute rush.”
He added that the commission, with only the chairman and two commissioners can not effectively conduct a demanding poll like the presidential election.
Asked what he will do for the people of Laikipia county, Dr Mutua said he plans to build at least a 40 kilometre road in every constituency in the county and the rest of Kenya.