Ruto’s ‘Sh150 to Sh200’ Unga now approaching the Sh250 mark
On May 17, 2023, Nairobi News reported that the 2 kilogram Sh 150 maize meal flour President Ruto announced had disappeared from supermarket shelves.
This was two weeks after he announced the availability of Unga that would retail for between Sh 150 and Sh 200 to cushion Kenyans against the high cost of living.
He specifically said that the flour would be found at Quickmart and Naivas Supermarkets; and that Kenyans would be spoilt for choice to decide which flour brand suited them.
“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.
Fast forward to June 7, 2023, there is no 2 kilogram packet of maize meal flour for either Sh 150 or Sh 200. In fact, they are soaring towards the Sh 250 mark with one already selling for more than this price. A spot check conducted by Nairobi News at Naivas Kenyatta Avenue on June 7, 2023, found that the following brands sold their 2 kilogram maize meal flour packets for the following prices: Amaize at Sh 250, Pembe at Sh 227, Jogoo at Sh 235, Soko at Sh 230, Mama at Sh 220 and Raha at Sh 269.
In comparison, this is how the flour sold in mid may, end of May and June 7, 2023:
- Jogoo sold for Sh 208, Sh 195 and now Sh 235
- Pembe sold for Sh 208, Sh 195 and now Sh 227
- Mama sold for Sh 198 in May and Sh 220 in June
- Soko sold for Sh 207, Sh 215 and now Sh 230
- Amaize sold for Sh 249, Sh 247 and now Sh 250
- Mama sold for Sh 198, Sh 204 and now Sh 220
Maize meal flour cooks Kenya’s staple food, Ugali.
Its rising cost is now at historic highs from the days of buying it for between Sh 80 and Sh 100.
The high prices are one of the reasons the opposition had been demonstrating against the government for failing to tame the runaway high cost of living. During his campaigns, President Ruto promised to deal with this in his first few days in office but tangible results are yet to be seen or felt across the country.