KENYA: Archbishop Muheria Cautions Government against ‘Joking’ with lives of Citizens

By Arnold Neliba

NYERI, NOVEMBER 22, 2022 (CISA)-Amid the controversies on the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Archbishop Anthony Muheria of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nyeri has the condemned statement made by the Cabinet Minister for Trade, Investment and Industry, Moses Kuria, in which he intimated that “By just being in this country, you are a candidate for death. And because there are so many things competing to kill you, there is nothing wrong with adding GMOs to that list.”

“We feel it was disrespectful to Kenyans to joke about life and death and even if it is an issue which could be taken as a joke, it would be wrong to bring about statements whereby we trivialize death, trivialize suffering, traverse insecurity. For this reason, we feel irrespective of the matter in this case and consideration, we request honestly that Kenyans deserve respect and not spite and on this matter they do deserve an apology,” condemned Archbishop Muheria.

The prelate in a November 21 presser in Nyeri, cautioned the government against gambling with the lives of Kenyans as if it was Russian roulette.

“This issue of GMOs is a serious matter that deserves discussion and deep sober engagement. It is not a decision for us, on one hand, to just embrace them completely without reservations nor a situation where we want to reject their use or even address the need that could be for a specific time,” said the archbishop.

As the Government of Kenya through an announcement by CS Kuria plans to allow a six-month duty-free window for the importation of 10 million bags of GMO and non-GMO maize for food security, Archbishop Muheria has called for respectful strategic engagement and discussion by agricultural and food experts to find the right paths for the hot debate.

“We understand that we may need a momentary relief, to go towards embracing the feeding of our people with food that may be GMO but that is not the solution, we need to address the deep-seated issues, as a bridge yes, but as a long-term solution we need to address what is it that ills Kenya and what is it that ails us to make us not food sufficient,” he stressed.

Echoing the recent statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), the 59-year-old prelate implored the government to stop their acts of crisis management and consider issuing improved agricultural methods for sustainability.