A handful of leaders lashed out at CORD leader Raila Odinga, accusing him of pretending to be concerned about the predicament of miraa farmers and the miraa market. Meru Woman Rep Florence Kajuju described Raila’s visit as a political trip, questioning why he had to make it public.
Raila told miraa growers on Saturday that he was arranging a market where they will dispose their wares or crops. The opposition leader told miraa farmers that:
“The Jubilee Government pledged to help coffee, tea and miraa farmers but it has not fulfilled the promise. I am looking for markets for the crop and will come to announce them very soon.”
Kajuju however said the opposition leader’s sudden visit is a bid to steal the efforts of president Uhuru in solving the plights of the farmers who lost a huge amount of income following the ban in European markets.
She revealed that all Meru political leaders including herself had petitioned the Government to intervene and President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the process of creating a task force that would come up with solutions to help the miraa market.
She asked Raila to not act like he has a ready solution to the miraa-growing community problem. She further asked why Raila didn’t come up with such idea and help when he was still the Prime Minister. According to her:
Raila’s coming to Meru will not add any value to miraa farmers and we hope nobody believes him.”
Supporting the woman Rep., the chairman of Meru County Assembly Agriculture Committee, Chabari Kaumbuthu said the idea of President Kenyatta that sets aside Sh1 billion to revive miraa plantation, marketing and sale is the foremost and most preferred in ending the deep-rooted problem. According to the outspoken Chairman:
“Raila is just dancing on the grave of miraa farmers. He never did anything for farmers when he was in Government and the record is there for all to see. “There is something he could do to help miraa farmers, but I am sure he won’t”.
Raila had visited Meru to address the of miraa farmers. He told attentive audience that he felt the need to help the farmers because he was brought up on miraa. The opposition leaders added that he has been chewing miraa since he was a child and that the crop helps people to be on the alert and act as a good pastime.
Speaking at Maili Tatu stadium in Igembe on Saturday, Raila said Miraa is not a drug and is not in any harmful to the body. Odinga was accompanied by Senator James Orengo and MPs Junet Mohamed, Milly Odhiambo, Simba Arati and Nicholas Gumbo, among others.