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Do you think Jubilee unga subsidy was political ploy?

By Cleophas Malala | Published Mon, January 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 7th 2018 at 23:48 GMT +3
[Photo: Courtesy]

The Jubilee government’s subsidised Unga  project was a ploy to get votes in the run-up to August 8, 2017 elections. It was not about making a majority of Kenyans enjoy an enjoyable and affordable meal. Just like the free secondary school education promise that appears to have collapsed on arrival, the day for the collapse of the subsidised Unga had to come. Today, food stores are selling Unga at Sh150, up from Sh90.

This can be traced to the manner in which the Jubilee administration pretended to solve the maize shortage crisis, which had led to the high Unga prices sometime last year. Jubilee scandalously imported maize and worked with select millers to make and label Unga price at Sh90 until the elections were over. 

I doubt they had a plan to make the prices stable at Sh90 or even below after the elections. That is why the vocal Jubilee leaders who pretended to be champions of Unga are mum as millions of poor Kenyans buy a 2 kg Unga pack at over Sh150. The prices are solely to be blamed on the Jubilee administration, which I believe mismanaged the Galana irrigation scheme that would have ensured we have sufficient grain stocks.

Jubilee also failed to invest in the maize farmers by importing maize and ignoring to buy locally. Our farmers then sold their maize to Southern Sudan and Uganda. There is no hiding that Jubilee knew the prices would shoot through the roof after elections, and it is unfortunate that poor Kenyans will pay for the ploy.


Mr Malala is the Senator of Kakamega County

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