, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19- Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has been summoned by a Senate Committee in charge of his docket on measures the government is taking to contain the locusts’ menace in the country.
Munya is required to face the Senate Committee on Agriculture on Thursday, following growing concerns that the government is doing little to tame the crisis that is threatening the country’s food security.
Munya was summoned a day after telling farmers in Meru that they should not worry because the desert locusts “are too old” having turned yellow.
“You don’t need to worry at all, when you see them turn yellow, they are too old and about to die,” Munya told farmers in Igoji on Sunday, after an aerial tour of the affected areas.
His remarks have caused uproar in the country, including in the Senate on Tuesday, where Senators accused him of trivialising the matter.
More than 15 counties are affected by the desert locusts which entered the country through northern Kenya.
On Tuesday, locals in Muhoroni in Kisumu County said they had spotted swarms and urged the government to move fast and arrest the situation.
“I do not think that there will be any other higher duty that the Minister for Agriculture will be involved in that will prevent him from joining hands with everyone else including this August House trying to bring a solution,” Kindiki said when he issued the summons on Tuesday.
Accordingly, he said, “I direct CS Peter Munya to appear before the Committee of Agriculture on Thursday this week, at 9.am and through the committee, every senator is invited to attend and make a contribution sop that on Thursday we leave here with concrete proposals on how we are going to tackle it.”
He issued the order after Senators led by Moses Wetangula of Bungoma raised concerns over the manner in which the matter was being handled y the government.
“If you have read the history of locusts, as they travel on that speed, they mate ferociously and reproduce ferociously so that every other week the numbers multiply sometimes even quadruple as they move. So, when you hear a government ministry saying they will age and die you wonder what knowledge this Minister possesses because I know Munya is not a fool,” Wetangula said.
The locusts spread from Wajir and Garissa counties into Mandera, Marsabit, Meru, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, Tharaka-Nithi, Laikipia, Kitui and Kirinyaga counties.
Munya was transferred to the Agriculture Ministry, in the wake of hilarious remarks by his predecessor Mwangi Kiunjuri who was sacked.
Prior to his sacking, Kiunjuri had asked Kenyans to take photos of the locusts and post the on social media or send them for the government to confirm if indeed they were locusts.