Linturi panel must uphold rule of law

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024 06:00 | By
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi
Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi. PHOTO/@mithika_Linturi/X

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi’s future now hinges on the decision of MPs following their vote to create a select committee to probe his conduct in light of the recent fertiliser scandal. As the panel gears up to delve into the intricacies of what happened, it is paramount that its members uphold the highest standards of impartiality and adhere strictly to legal frameworks.

Introducing substandard fertiliser into the market is a serious economic crime. Given the ramifications of the MPs’ findings, there is no room for error. The rule of law must guide the proceedings to ensure justice prevails.

With Bumula MP Jack Wamboka’s impeachment motion gaining approval, this sets the stage for what could be a watershed moment in local politics. Linturi’s predicament arises from allegations about the quality of fertiliser recently distributed to farmers through National Cereals and Produce Board depots.

Should MPs vote for his removal, Linturi would etch his name in history as the first CS to be impeached in President William Ruto’s administration, a stark indictment of his leadership. That more than 110 MPs, including some from Ruto’s camp, supported the motion speaks volumes about the gravity of the allegations.

The three grounds for Linturi’s potential impeachment­—claims of constitutional violations gross misconduct, and suspicions of criminal activity—paint a damning picture of Linturi’s tenure. Of particular concern is his alleged failure to engage in public participation and uphold consumer rights, indicating a systemic disregard for governance principles and ethical conduct.

This saga is not merely about the fate of one man but about upholding the integrity of public office and ensuring accountability to citizens, and the rule of law. The outcome of the probe will reverberate far beyond Linturi’s tenure, setting a precedent for how the government handles allegations of malfeasance and misconduct.

Kenyans deserve leaders who prioritise their interests and  uphold the values of transparency and good governance. MPs must act decisively and uphold the trust placed in them by the electorate. Should they find that the substandard fertiliser was introduced into the market intentionally, deceiving farmers into unwittingly using it, the culprits must face the full force of the law. 

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