President Kenyatta directs C.S. Munya to resolve Tanzania maize standoff in 2 weeks

President Kenyatta directs C.S. Munya to resolve Tanzania maize standoff in 2 weeks

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya to allow maize from Tanzania into Kenya.
Addressing a joint Kenya-Tanzania High Level Business Forum this morning jointly with Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan, President Kenyatta issued a 2-week ultimatum to resolve the protracted impasse that has seen trucks ferrying maize from Tanzania stranded at the border.
“I am giving you two weeks and the issue should be resolved. There is no need to keep our people stranded.”
In early March, Kenya banned importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania.
According to the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), surveillance and tests conducted on maize from the two countries had shown that most of it had aflatoxin.
“Test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety limits,” said AFA Acting Director General Kello Harsama in a statement to the Kenya Revenue Authority, while notifying the taxman of the ban.
Following an uproar over the ban, which was criticised as unprocedural, CS Munya appeared to backtrack saying they were enforcing quality controls and not a ban.
“We have not stopped the importation of maize from Uganda and Tanzania. What AFA has done is to check the quality of maize coming into the country,” said Mr Munya
The standoff has seen truckloads of maize stuck at border points as traders count massive losses.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has previously called for dialogue and not retaliation with Kenya over the maize impasse.
President Suluhu said she was looking forward to the implementation of affirmative actions agreed upon during the Forum.
‘You are lucky that on one side you have the freedom (Uhuru) to do business and on the other side you the solution (Suluhu) to break trade barriers,’ she said to the delight of the audience at the forum.
President Kenyatta also called on Health Ministers from Kenya and Tanzania to harmonize their work, so that people with valid COVID-19 negative test certificates are allowed to do cross border business. This as he challenged Cabinet Ministers to resolve issues at the border before they emerge.

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Ken Aseka is a hands-on broadcast journalist with genuine interest, skills and competencies in news sourcing, packaging, and dissemination. As a seasoned journalist, Aseka has previously worked with leading media houses in Kenya as a news editor, writer and reporter. He is currently a news editor at Metropol TV.

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