Agriculture CS Mwanigi Kiunjuri has revealed why he skipped an event hosted by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga days after the latter warned him over plans to import maize, maintaining that the current maize shortage is artificial and meant to benefit cartels.

The CS who was to preside over the event hosted by Odinga in his Opoda farm was instead represented by Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service(Kephis) managing director, Esther Kimani.

Nation reports that when contacted for comment, the CS brushed aside the matter, refusing to be discuss it further.

He further defended his decisison to skip the event, insisting that it is not mandatory for CSs to honour all invitations to events that fall under their dockets.

“You are misinterpreting the situation. There is no requirement that a CS should attend all events in their ministry. It is not practical,” Kiunjuri declared.

Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri

At the event, Odinga once again took a swipe at well-connected cartels minting millions from maize imports while farmers wallow in poverty.

“We don’t want our farmers to suffer because of maize imports by some goons. We know who they are and how they flood our markets," Raila stated. 

The former Prime Minister invited over 500 farmers to his farm to be learn modern farming techniques and crop varieties that perform better in the area.

Raila Odinga at his Opoda farm

This came barely a few days after Odinga faulted the CS over plans to import maize, reading malice in the scheme and insisting that the government should support local farmers by mopping up maize in the hands of farmers before considering such plans.

Odinga reiterated that he has strong reasons to advice against the importation of maize after widely consulting with maize farmers in the country.

East Africa Legislative Assembly MP, Oburu Oginga, and Nominated Senator, Rose Nyamunga were among those who were present at the event.