Miraa farmers, traders in court to block task force

Investors to lobby for lifting of Miraa ban by UK

Miraa farmers and traders have moved to court to block public funding and swearing in of officials of the newly formed Miraa Task F that is intended to oversee the Miraa business activities.

They argue that the real Miraa traders and farmers are not represented in the task force.

The farmers and traders claim that the task force was formed contrary to an initial court order of 26th April 2016; that had quashed another gazette notice of may 2015 over the similar issues of contention.

The farmers and traders are being represented by six petitioners who have sued the ministry of agriculture livestock and fisheries,Attorney general and the said task force on development of Miraa- over the alleged unconstitutional appointments and gazettement.

Miraa traders and farmers allege that the task force was unlawfully gazetted on 17th of June 2016.

The petitioners say they are afraid their interests will not be catered to, should the appointed task force members take up the office.

They further alleged that some appointees especially vice chairperson of the task force who is the chairperson of Kenya Miraa farmers and trade association (KEMIFATA) and another member have integrity issues as they have never accounted for funds raised by miraa stakeholders to file a case in the UK hence can’t be trusted anymore to hold the public office.

The petitioners also contend that there is a conflict of interest in the taskforce as a lawyer who had initially represented them has since been appointed into the taskforce.

They therefore want the court to halt swearing in process to quash the gazette notice of the said task force and order appointment of relevant officials after consultations with real Miraa stakeholders.

On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed a 14 member Task Force to on the Development of the Miraa Industry.

The task force has three months to complete its assignment, according to a gazette notice published Friday.

Geoffrey Nchooro M’mwenda will chair the task force with PS Dr. Richard Leresian Lesiyampe as the alternate Chairperson.

Dave Ntawa Muthuri is the Vice Chairperson of the Task force that was been gazzetted Friday.

In consultation with farmers, traders and relevant stakeholders the Task Force shall recommend strategies and interventions that will support the development of the Miraa Industry.

Other tasks of the task force include research on Miraa agronomy, variety improvement, product development and value addition.

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Story By Agnes Oloo
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