The Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) is set to be transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries to the Ministry of Defence following an order from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In an internal memo copied to KMC Managing Commissioner James Ole Siriani, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya directed Livestock Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai to facilitate ” a seamless transfer of the Kenya Meat Commission to the Ministry of Defence”.
“Ensure that you coordinate the entire exercise with the National Treasury and transfer the associated budgets at the next scheduled Supplementary Budget,” wrote CS Munya.
The Cabinet Secretary also directed his PS to submit a report to his office in a fortnight regarding the same.
KMC has been struggling for a number of years now, a situation that has been linked to corruption at the firm. The government has mulled privatizing it before in a bid to have it managed proffessionally.
The KMC factory in Athi River uses very old equipment and operates below the capacity it is capable of. The factory slaughters 200 cattle per week despite being capable of the same amount on a single day.
The official reasoning behind handing over the commission to the military as per CS Munya is that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) are the biggest consumers of meat from the commission hence the transfer.
It is also expected that the military will modernize the plant, instill discipline in the running of the organization as well as market its products locally and internationally.
However, there are also fears that the move might be motivated by vested interests as KDF’s accounts are not subjected to the same level of scrutiny as other ministries and government agencies are.
But CS Munya says the transfer will help dismantle cartels who have been preying on the organisation.