Nairobi News

LifeMust ReadNews

Empty promises: Will the government really deliver cheap unga this time?

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development’s promise of cheaper maize flour from next week has not come as news to many Kenyans.

Of course as it is the harvest season, the announcement is timely, considering the abundance of produce that will be available.

However, Kenyans have been here before. On too many occasions in the recent past, the government has made but failed to deliver on similar promises.

For instance, on April 17, 2023, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed announced that the price of unga (maize flour) in Kenya had started going down, as President William Ruto had assured Kenyans.

Also read: Suluhu taunts neighbouring country that is ‘losing investors to Tanzania’

This was after 48,000 tonnes of imported maize arriving at the Port of Mombasa. However, the prices never came down.

The same month, the government said maize meal brands were retailing at a cheaper price. The cheaper brands were Umi, whose 2kg packet was being sold at Sh159 and the new entrant Ajab at Sh166.

A spot check by Nairobi News on various supermarkets in Nairobi on April 19, 2023, established that Pembe brand was retailing at Sh210, Sh60 more than the price President Ruto promised Kenyans during an address at a political rally in Machakos county.

Also read: Uber’s taxi-hailing app to roll out new audio safety feature in Kenya

A 2kg packet of Soko was retailing at Sh213, Jogoo remained at Sh202, Amaize was being sold at Sh243, with Dola available for Sh205. Meanwhile, a 2kg packet of Afya was retailing at Sh285 while Papo Hapo was selling at Sh210.

A month later, President Ruto announced the availability of unga that would retail for between Sh150 and Sh200 for a 2kg packet in a move aimed at cushioning Kenyans against the soaring cost of living in the country.

On May, 17, 2023, Nairobi News reported that Sh150 maize meal flour that President Ruto had announced had disappeared from supermarket shelves.

Now, the government is at it again, with fresh promises to reduce the cost of Kenya’s staple foodstuff.

But with all these previous unfulfilled promises, it remains to be seen whether the government will this time deliver cheaper maize flour.

Also read: Government promises Kenyans cheap unga from next week