President Ruto’s Sh150 unga disappears from supermarket shelves
Two weeks after President William Ruto announced the availability of cheap maize meal flour, the commodity is now missing on the shelves he specifically directed Kenyans to.
Addressing the nation on Labour Day, President Ruto assured Kenyans that the price of unga had come down from Sh230 to as low as Sh158.
“I have seen you people saying ‘not yet, not yet’. I want to tell you this. The price was Sh230. If you go to the shelf right now at Quickmart or Naivas, you will find there are packets for Sh200, for Sh180, for Sh170 and for Sh158. You are the one to decide on which one you will buy. If you want to buy the one for Sh200, buy it. If you want for Sh158, buy it. It is your decision,” President Ruto said.
This is a democracy and you can do what you want to do. I will continue working hard because there are some millers who want to play with us but I will go toe to toe with them until we make sure every citizen has a right to access food that is quality, that is enough for their families,” the president said then.
Following the president’s announcement, Nairobi News established that at Naivas Supermarket, the price of a 2kg of Ajab maize meal flour was retailing at Sh159 down from Sh167, Amaize at Sh249, Hostess at Sh246 and Jogoo at Sh195 down from Sh208. Mama Maize Meal sold for Sh198, Ndovu for Sh199, Pembe for Sh208, Raha for Sh262 and Soko for Sh207.
Fast forward to May 17, 2023, there is no more 2kg packets of unga retailing in the Sh150 price range. A spot check by Nairobi News at Naivas Supermarket found that a 2kg packet of Jogoo retailing at Sh208 and Pembe at Sh206. Soko had a discounted price of Sh215, Mama was retailing at Sh204, Ajab at Sh194 and Amaize at Sh247.
The Ajab, Amaize, Jogoo, Mama and Soko brands had price hikes while Pembe had a Sh2 decrease. Hostess, Raha and Ndovu brands were not available on the shelves.
Ugali is the staple food in Kenya and with the runaway cost of living, many households have to squeeze their budgets further to put a meal on the table.
Lowering of the cost of living has been one of the demands of the opposition Azimio la Umoja that led to demonstrations that rocked the country in the last few weeks.
Azimio la Umoja has since called off the demos to allow for bipartisan talks with the the Kenya Kwanza government over a number of issues affecting the country.