- photo: Hiro Otake / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
East Africa Climate Change Network & Baraza La Taifa | 4 February 2021
Kenya Miraa trade: Britain bilateral and multilateral agreements disclosure
By Githinji Kamotho
Hon. Peter Munya (MGH)
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives.
REF: KENYA MIRAA TRADE: BRITAIN BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL AGREEMENTS DISCLOSURE.
Humble greetings, we hope this letter finds you in good health, joyous mood and strong will.
Kindly, we note that in the past few weeks Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Interior and National Coordination, Cabinet Secretary for industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development had signed several Kenya bilateral and multilateral agreements between Kenya and Part British Government and part Iceland Government an EU Country.
We take this opportunity to inform you that two weeks ago we raised the above titled matter with the above entities, similarly we did send an email request to Kenya Senate, British Ambassador to Kenya and several British Members of Parliament requesting for full disclosure of terms of the six bilateral trade agreements signed in the past 3 Months between Kenya and British Government, without success nor No acknowledgement.
Yesterday Daily Nation dated 3rd February, 2021 Kenya Clerk of the National Assembly Hon. Michael R. Sialai, CBS. Did invite for the Public Participation and submission of memoranda in the matter for consideration by the National Assembly. Titled the economic Partnership Agreement between the Republic of Kenya, a member of the East African Community of the one part and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Iceland of the other part. To be submitted to National Assembly Committee on trade, industry and cooperatives for consideration. Given the magnitude, Secrecy of the agreement which from the look of things seem to disadvantage Kenya government and in some instances the agreement is based on historical colonial related international laws which limit Kenyans farmers from utilization of Nile Water, utilization multi trillion wealth of Lake Magadi.
It’s unfortunate to note that British American Tobacco a British Companies over the years continue to sell billions sticks of cigarettes to Kenya markets causing massive Cancers to most Kenyans, with very minimal or no restrictions against the company.
Its unfortunate that your Ministry in its snail pace failed to push for Miraa, Pyrethrum and other industrial crops bill, 2020 so as to be considered into the recently skewed signed bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
Its saddening to note that Britain has retained a ban on Kenya Miraa, a cash crop classified and recognized as crop under the Agriculture and Food Authority Act (Act No. 13 of 2013) and the Crops Act (Act No. 16 of 2013) not as a banned substance nor a drug.
The purported signed bilateral trade no wonder hidden from Public scrutiny by the above entities, must be treated with contempt by all Kenyans, it’s also a pity that we have witnessed a compromised legislature, which in this instance seem ready to sell the country to highest bidder, we Kenyans under the power of Article 1 states that the agreements stands a nullity and void and in breach of kenya laws and fair trade practices, banning partners’ products from your market and continue to sell your products to their market.
Its sad to note that Britain is always among the countries that issues a travel advisory against Kenya whenever a minor security lapse happen in Kenya, causing massive job loss, hotels cancellations, flight cancellation, without reprieve causing the country more economic harm .
What will be the impact of a bilateral trade agreement on the value and diversity of trade between the two countries? Kenya being a major exporter to the UK and EU of agricultural products including tea, coffee, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables. If we fail to agree on the bilateral trade does the Far East Countries need our products or must we sign this unbalanced agreements.
While our farmers continue to purchase and access DAP and NPK fertilizers at subsidized rates of 2,300 per 50kg bag from the KNTC depots across the country imported from mainly EU, Coffee Farmers access organic hyper phosphate fertilizer from Britain, so the cycle of price imbalances against Kenya farmers against other countries such as Brazil.
Dear Mr. Minister. How will you ensure that TRIPS does not undermine Kenya’s agreements with other trading partners? Kenya and the UK are committed to negotiating and concluding a trading arrangement that is compatible with the World Trade Organization (WTO) international trade principles, which should facilitate Kenya’s special and differential treatment in global trade.
It’s on this background that we call for your urgent intervention as Cabinet Secretary on Agriculture to publish and review the stated bilateral and multilateral agreements for the benefit of Kenya Miraa Traders, given that your community is the main beneficially of Miraa trade.
Yours Concerned Citizen.
Githinji Kamotho P.
ED, East Africa Climate Change Network.
National Coordinator, Baraza La Taifa
1.Hon Justin B. Muturi, EGH,MP.
Speaker of the National Assembly.
2. Dr.Joseph K. Kinyua ,EGH
Head of Public Service.
Executive Office of the President.
3.National Assembly Committee On Trade, Industry And Cooperatives
Hon. Ali, Adan Haji
4.Chairman, Committee On National Security, Defence And Foreign Relations
Sen. Haji Mohamed Yusuf
5. Sen. Linturi Franklin Mithika
Member Committee On National Security, Defence And Foreign Relations.
6. Miraa, Pyrethrum and Other Industrial Crops Office
Agriculture and Food Authority
E-Mail: [email protected]
7. Council Of Governors.
8. Senate Kenya [email protected]
9. The Statehouse Kenya Facebook
10. CS. Interior and National Coardination Dr. Fred Matiangi
11. P.S Karanja Kibicho
12. Miraa Farmers Association of Kenya.