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Spot check: Price of unga yet to come down despite State House claims

On April 17, 2023, State House Spokesperson Hussein Mohamed announced that the price of unga (flour) in Kenya had started going down, just as President William Ruto had assured Kenyans over the weekend.

With the arrival of 48,000 tonnes of imported maize arriving at the Port of Mombasa, President Ruto told Kenyans while on a Narok County official visit that this will come as a relief to Kenyans as the price of flour will come down to Sh 150 from its current retail average price of Sh 230.

“Unga prices have started going down just as President @WilliamsRuto had assured Kenyans over the weekend. Prices have dropped to Ksh159 and Ksh 160, depending on the millers. When the President assumed office last year, a 2kg packet was retailing at approximately Ksh230,” tweeted Mr Mohamed at 3:26 pm on April 17.

However, a spot check by Nairobi News of flour prices at Naivas Supermarket in Nairobi West revealed the cost of Unga was yet to go down despite Mr Mohamed announcing so.

Also read: Will Ruto keep fresh ‘cost of Unga’ promise?

A two-kilogram packet of Pembe maize meal flour was retailing at Sh 208, while Jogoo of the same size was also Sh 208. Soko maize meal flour retailed at a shilling less, standing at Sh 207, while the Raha brand sold for Sh 262. Hostess maize meal flour retailed at Sh 231.

Mr Mohamed shared photos of the new brand entrant, UMI and Ajab brands to announce that their prices had been reviewed downwards but at Naivas, Ajab retailed for Sh 188. UMI was not available.

Despite President Ruto’s promise to lower the cost of the maize meal flour, a staple in Kenyan homes in cooking Ugali, his opposition critics said his price was still too high for Kenyans to afford.

At a recent rally, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna told opposition supporters that they wanted the price to come down to Sh 100 for a 2 kilogram packet of maize meal flour.

President Ruto, during his 2022 presidential election campaigns, had promised that he would lower the price to Sh 70 if elected but this remains to be seen.

Unga prices are one of the key pillars of the opposition-led demonstrations that are currently on a temporary break to pave the way for talks between the opposition and the government. They, however, remain at an impasse, and the opposition are set to return to the streets with their supporters.

Also read: Why price of unga will continue going up