Kenya: Eight Months After Transfer to Army, President Kenyatta Oversees KMC's Reopening

Beef (file photo).

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday commissioned reopening of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC), coming about eight months since he transferred it to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), which was meant to breathe life into the struggling processor.

During the exercise, Mr Kenyatta toured KMC's depot along Landhies Road, Nairobi, before heading to the refurbished factory in Athi River, Machakos County where he also inaugurated a KDF officers' mess.

The re-opening, however, comes three months after the High Court reversed the president's decision to transfer KMC from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation to the military.

Justice Anthony Mrima had said the move violated Article 10 of the Constitution due to lack of public participation, but said that the error could be rectified.

KMC's re-opening comes just a day after the Kenya Railways started transporting cattle to the processor through its Nanyuki route.

"Kenya Railways is set to start transporting cattle via Nanyuki Railway line. One such cattle wagon can accommodate up to 30 cows... Cattle Wagon train carrying cattle today makes its official trip from Nanyuki Railway Station to Nairobi's Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) Depot," the railways stated in its Sunday announcement.

While the move to transfer KMC's management to the Ministry of Defence was highly criticised at the time, today, some leaders from the region welcomed the move as one that would be highly beneficial to livestock farmers.

"Kenya Meat Commission workers and livestock farmers are reportedly happy with the new management. 1,000 cows a week and payment in 72 hours. What does that say about the ministry of Agriculture? Can we do the same to KQ! Vita ikuje," Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior posed on his social media account.

The Ministry of Agriculture had expressed its support for transfer of KMC's management to the military, arguing that it was the best recovery path for the dying processor due to the large consumption of meat products and technical capacity the army has.

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