Thursday 25 July 2024
  • La Cimbali

High Court of Kenya suspends new coffee rules, deals blow to reforms

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NAIROBI, Kenya – The High Court of Kenya has suspended the recently gazetted coffee regulations, dealing a blow to the Coffee Task force Report meant to kick start reforms in the industry. The move comes after governors moved to court to challenge the regulations.

Governors, through their lawyer Peter Wanyama, had challenged a Gazette Notice that establishes coffee rules under the Crops Act and asked the court to annul it.

The governors argue that the national government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, passed the regulations without public participation.

“Leave be, and is hereby granted to applicants… prohibiting them (1st and 2nd respondent) from implementing the coffee General Regulation 2016,” reads the court orders in part.

The county bosses argue that agriculture is a fully devolved function under the constitution and that they have to be consulted on any matter relating to the sector.

“The National Government’s role in the constitution is strictly limited to policy while implementation of these policies and other agricultural function are a preserve of the County Governments,” said the governors.

This is the second time that efforts by the government to address challenges facing coffee farmer’s is suffering a setback after a lobby last month disowned recommendations of the task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying their views were altered to meet interests of the cartels.

National Farmers Federation (NFA) claimed that 80 per cent of their views were changed in unfamiliar circumstances and threatened to move to court to annul the report.

The implementation of the task force report is expected to begin the next few weeks and some players in the coffee industry feel that it is headed for disaster because it has focused on the farmer only rather than the entire industry.

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