MP walks to TV interview with yellow locusts to disprove Munya claim

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 12:12 | By
A farmer attempts to scare away a swarm of desert locusts in Galmudug area, Somalia. Photo/COURTESY

Mbeere South Member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey King'ang'i on Thursday walked into a TV interview with locusts to disproof Agriculture CS Peter Munya's claims on yellow locusts.

The MP had stored the insects in a polythene bag, saying that they had not eaten anything for five days yet they were still alive.

"If the locusts have been in that bag for five days without food, how then can you tell us that they will die soon?" asked the MP on Citizen TV.

On Monday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said that locusts that have turned yellow would die soon of old age.

CS Munya said that such locusts are in the last growth cycle and won't eat as much, a comment that drew ridicule from a section of Kenyans.

The comment led to the comparison of Mr. Munya with his predecessor, Mwangi Kinjuri, who caused hilarity after asking concerned Kenyans in locust-invaded areas to photograph the insects and share the images with Agriculture ministry for confirmation.

Mr. Kiunjuri claimed some of the insects reported as locusts were actually grasshoppers. The CS was shortly shown the door by President Uhuru Kenyatta but his firing had little to do with the poor handling of the locust invasion.

His successor, on the other hand, made the comment while speaking at Gakurune Primary School in Meru County where leaders in locust-infested areas had gathered for the meeting.

Critics said CS Munya's claims are not backed up by scientific evidence.

How they landed in Kenya

Swarms of desert locusts landed first landed in the country in December 2019.

From Somalia, they flew to Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit and Isiolo counties.

By mid February, they had spread to Kitui, Kajiado, Murang'a and Kisumu counties. Some swarms have even reached parts Uganda.

Yesterday, several swarms landed in Mukurwe-ini in Nyeri County and others in Kisumu.

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna is expected to give an update on the country's preparedness in fighting new locust generations left behind in form of eggs.

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