President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued a statement regarding the price of maize flour after a meeting between Agriculture CS Peter Munya, maize millers and other stakeholders.
Uhuru issues update on price of maize flour
Uhuru says politicising the price of unga is akin to mocking vulnerable households
President Kenyatta directed that his administration would subsidise the cost of maize flour to make millers sell the product at Sh100 per 2kg.
This comes bares days after the Ministry of Agriculture made the announcement, yet the price of the product remained above Sh200 at many outlets.
The head of state reminded Kenyans of the other measures the government had instituted including suspending the railway development levy and import declaration fees.
He also faulted politicians who had turned their maize crisis into political fodder, blaming the government for the high cost of the commodity.
"Every election in our country has attracted an unga crisis and at times it seems to be engineered. There is an obvious trend between the manner with which the price of Unga goes up and the tempo is taken up during elections," he said.
He recalled that when his administration was taking over power in 2013, the price of maize flour was at Sh130, which was very high at the time, adding that the price also shot up to Sh189 before the 2017 General Elections.
“This crisis was used as fuel to power the ambitions of certain members of the political class. Today once again, a month to the August 2022 General Elections the price of unga has shot up again. It has moved from Sh100 to Sh205 so the national question that all of us must pose from this trend is that is it a coincidence? Is this the result of a market dynamic or deliberate outcome?” the president asked.
He appealed to millers to be cognizant of the rights of Kenyans and urged them to consider their consumers' welfare and not be driven solely by profitability.
“You can make profits and exercise responsible business practices all at the same time, more so because if unethical practices result in instability before or after the elections because the biggest loser is not the ordinary citizen. It is the corporate citizens whose investments will be the first to suffer,” President Kenyatta cautioned.
He continued by saying that logistical difficulties brought on by COVID-19, locust invasion, crop failure, and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine have made it impossible for disadvantaged individuals to afford essential food supplies.
“It is unfortunate and shocking that we have the audacity to politicise the misery of the most vulnerable in our society. It is even more distasteful for us to seek political gain and make political capital out of the suffering of the vulnerable without attempting to offer solutions,” Uhuru spoke.
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