MPs chases away PS away for providing clueless responses!

On Tuesday, Members of Parliament (MPs) rejected Cooperatives Principal Secretary Patrick Kilemi due to his insufficient responses to their inquiries.

Kilemi had been summoned before the Committee on Trade, Industry, and Cooperatives to address concerns regarding delayed payments to dairy and coffee farmers by various cooperatives.

Acknowledging the payment delays to dairy farmers, PS Kilemi highlighted the Ministry’s efforts to ensure they receive payments by the 5th of every month starting from July 2024.

Regarding coffee farmers, he mentioned the implementation of a direct settlement system by the Ministry to address the issue of delays. This system, introduced by banks last year, aimed to streamline payment processes for coffee farmers.

However, these explanations failed to satisfy the legislators, who emphasized that the payment delays were not limited to the Mt Kenya region but were widespread across the country.

They demanded a thorough and detailed explanation of the Ministry’s strategies to resolve the issue.

As Kilemi struggled to provide satisfactory responses to the queries, he requested more time to furnish detailed explanations, which further frustrated the lawmakers.

“You were not adequately prepared for this session. We cannot proceed with this meeting,” stated the Committee’s Vice Chairperson Marianne Kitany.

Following the inadequate responses from PS Kilemi, Kitany instructed him to relay to Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui the imperative to appear in the subsequent session with a comprehensive analysis and plan to address the payment delays.

Many farmers have voiced their frustrations over not receiving payments for over three months, attributing the delays to inefficiencies within the government’s remittance processes.

In the case of coffee farmers, who sold their produce on the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE), they expected payment in US dollars through the Direct Settlement System. However, this led to additional issues such as unexplained partial payments, funds being settled into incorrect accounts, unauthorized changes of bank accounts, and more.

Peter Gikonyo, chairman of the Kenya Coffee Producers Association (KCPA), spearheaded the call for the government to ensure prompt and accurate settlements for the farmers. More

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