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Keep off from the Rice Scheme

A Rice farmer, Muchiri Kiriungi who said if the MCAs were genuine in their visit to the scheme, they should have involved the leaders and not organised a secret visit that led to their ejection by irate farmers. Photo by KNA.
Rice  farmers tending to the rice crop in one of the sections of the Rice Scheme in Mwea in Kirinyaga County. Photo  by  Irungu Mwangi/KNA.

The  Mwea Rice Farmers have told political leaders to keep off from the local irrigation scheme and stop inciting the rice producers.

The  farmers maintained they have their own well-structured programmes and procedures to run the scheme.

The growers said they were perturbed by a recent incident where some MCAs invaded the giant scheme on a mission to incite the farmers against the National Irrigation Board (NIB), which is their main service provider.

“Although the said MCAs were ejected from the giant scheme, the kind of politics they wanted to introduce should never be entertained at all,” said Jane Kariuko, a rice farmer.

The  MCAs led by the Assembly Majority Leader, Kamau Murango were flushed from the scheme by a group of irate farmers when they toured the area.

The  MCAs maintained they had visited the scheme following hue and cry from a section of the farmers over alleged laxity by the NIB to unclog the water canals.

The farmers further claimed the Board had neglected the feeder roads within the scheme yet they continued to pay the required fee every season.

Murango claimed he and his team went there in their capacity as an Assembly Committee on Agriculture and not as politicians as alleged.

Those who accompanied Murango were Sammy Maina (Nyangati), David Mathenge, (Baragwe), Baptista Kanga of Wamumu and his Mutithi counterpart, Peter  Njomo.

But  on Monday  the farmers rejected the assertion by the MCAs and wondered why their visit to the scheme was secret.

“If indeed these MCAs were genuine they should have had the courtesy to inform us and our leaders of their coming so that they would have found a well-organised system to interact and get the true situation on the ground,” said Muchiri Kiriungi, a farmer.

The  MCAs have however, claimed those who attacked them were not rice farmers but hired goons by a section of local political leadership opposed to them.

By  Irungu Mwangi

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