12 May PNP CALLS ON THE OCG TO INVESTIGATE DAIRY-FEEDING GRASS PROGRAMME ON SAMUDA’S PROPERTY
The People’s National Party (PNP) is alarmed at information that the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, who is also known to be a dairy farmer, has sought to benefit personally from a project intended to assist poor farmers of the country.
Minister Samuda benefitted from the establishment of a 15-acre demonstration plot of Mombasa dairy-feeding grass at his personal property in Knollis, St. Catherine with the resources of the Dairy Board. The trial project was set up specifically for small farmers to explore the potential of the produce as a critical component in the dairy industry. This kind of predatory behaviour by the person put in charge of overseeing the development of agriculture is not helpful to struggling farmers across the country.
The PNP, therefore, calls on the Office of the Contractor General to immediately initiate a thorough investigation into what appears to be an outright case of corruption or at least a blatant breach of public trust on the part of the Agriculture Minister.
Opposition spokesman on Agriculture revealed in Parliament on Tuesday that the Dairy Board had agreed to only 5 acres being planted on the Minister’s property, which in itself raises questions of ethics, due process and transparency. However, it was later discovered that 15 acres of grass is planted on the property with no approval for the additional ten acres. The PNP understands further that an additional 35 acres of grass was also allocated for planting on the Minister’s Knollis property also without approval.
It is understood that the Dairy Board CEO, who was recently dismissed from the position, had disagreed with the decision to allocate the additional 10 acres of grass to the Minister’s farm. On learning of the additional acreage of grass, the former CEO also pulled the technical support team from the project.
Minister Samuda has subsequently confirmed that the grass was indeed planted on his property. He has stated that he intended to pay for the grass but there is no documented proof of such intention.
In addition, the Opposition calling on Minister Samuda to apologise to Dr. Campbell and the Members of the House of Representatives for his despicable behaviour and reference to Member Campbell as “you piece of sh!t” as was widely reported in social media. Irrespective of our emotional meltdown during parliamentary debates, we must maintain a certain level of decorum befitting the reputation of the Houses of Parliament.
The Opposition calls on the OCG to initiate an investigation into this matter.