REF: DR. TITUS PIRISHON LANYASUNYA SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR PROTECTING PUBLIC ASSETS IN KARI NAIVASHA
We oppose in the strongest terms possible the machinations by barons of corruption in Government who have forced the Management of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) to recall Dr Titus Pirishon Lanyasunya to headquarters from his posting to the Naivasha
KARI Centre where he has been and continues to be a high achiever and an exemplary public servant.
Dr. Lanyasunya’s ill-intentioned and potentially disastrous transfer is directly connected to the public stand he has taken to protect public assets held in trust for Kenyans by KARI Centre, Naivasha. Those behind his removal are targeting the Ksh 3 billion (US $ 30 million) he
controls under the robust Regional Dairy Centre of Excellence (RDCoE) based in Naivasha.
In 2008, the KARI management entrusted Dr. Lanyasunya the responsibility of developing Kenya’s participation in the Eastern African Agricultural Productivity Projects (EAAPP) to assist alleviate poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment in the region.
Dr. Lanyasunya led the Kenyan team in the development of the Naivasha based RDCoE to serve the entire Central and Eastern Africa Region. He not only conceived the idea and developed proposals to would-be sponsors, he ably steered the process until the project was
approved for a US $ 30 million (Ksh 30 billion) World Bank funding in 2009, for a period of five years, renewable.
On April 7, 2010, Dr. Lanyasunya was formally appointed the Coordinator RDCoE, Naivasha. But because he instituted strict controls over the World Bank money he has been fought bitterly by the powerful forces that are ready to scuttle the entire project if that is what will let
them get hold of the money, especially now that the general elections are months away, and the politicians are restocking their war chests.
The powerful forces first moved to scuttle the project by allocating the 4,000 hectares RDCoE project land to Isahakia Self-Help Group on December 7, 2010. Early this year, the Isahakia, with the support of the Administration Police, evicted the program from the land, contaminating the RDCoE’s quarantined Sahiwal research herd with their animals, and destroyed cattle dips, milking sheds, and other dairy farm infrastructure belonging to the project.
Dr. Lanyasunya appealed to Kenyans for Justice and Development (KEJUDE) Trust and we intervened. KEJUDE mobilised Naivasha residents and other conscientious Kenyans in Nairobi. We held people demonstrations in Naivasha and Nairobi, and moved to the High Court in Nakuru where we got conservatory orders for the project to reoccupy the land, but we are still fighting to evict the Isahakia and their powerful backers in government from the RDCoE project land. And it goes without saying that removing Dr. Lanyasunya, around whose clear and purposeful mind, and demonstrated conviction to get the land back to the public, our struggle is founded, will demoralise those Kenyans who are fighting for the public interest. That might even compromise our performance in court since it is Dr. Lanyasunya who has
provided the bulk of evidence and witnesses our case is relying upon.
Further, removing Dr. Lanyasunya before the RDCoE project, that is his brainchild, has fully taken off will inevitably compromise its viability. Worse, deploying a man of his skills, knowledge, commitment and hands-on passion for fieldwork to KARI headquarters in Nairobi, where he will be locked up in nondescript clerical work, far removed from his all-important pet project, is an abuse of Kenya’s skilled human resource that costs the taxpayer dearly to develop.
Government and the general public have a duty to protect conscientious public servants who stand up to protect public property such as Dr.
Lanyasunya from being penalised by corrupt wielders of power in Government. KEJUDE will not stand by and watch barons of corruption frustrate dependable Kenyan professionals like Dr. Lanyasunya, who burn the midnight oil, agonising for solutions that will develop Kenya. It
matters not that some of the barons of corruption have arrogantly remarked that a mere Samburu will not stop them. Under the new Constitution all Kenyans have an added duty to protect and mainstream minorities such as the Samburu because all Kenyans are equal
before the law. Irrespective of the numerical size of his ethnic community, Dr. Lanyasunya has entitlements like any other Kenyan.
Therefore, to avoid any people’s action against the outrage, we call upon the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the management of KARI to stand up to the criminal forces of corruption in Government that are targeting both the RDCoE project money and land by immediately restoring Dr Titus Pirishon Lanyasunya back to his position as the Coordinator, Regional Dairy
Centre of Excellence, Naivasha, within the next seven (7) days.
Okiya Omtatah Okoiti – 0722-684-777