City Hall moves to save maize flour prices

Maize flour (unga) prices at Eastmart supermarket. [Photo: Courtesy]
Nairobi county government raided various supermarkets in the city on Thursday in a move to curb retailers who had increased 2kg maize flour prices.

This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned traders against increasing prices of this basic commodity a statement which was echoed by Nairobi County governor Mike Sonko saying tough measures were to be taken for those found.

The president said, “Prices of flour must go down in line with the decrease in the price of maize as we strive to provide sufficient and affordable food to our people. Action will be taken against traders exploiting the common mwananchi. They can do that anywhere else but not in Kenya.”

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri on September directed retailers to sell the 2kg maize flour at Sh75.

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CS Kiunjuri said that supermarkets in Nakuru were selling 2kg of unga at a price of Sh70, Nanyuki at sh100 and Nairobi at Sh82 and Sh94 adding that the government was protecting its people against traders in the market who had different price tags on the same packet of flour in various cities and towns in the country.

Retailers and supermarkets are said to have been selling two kilograms of unga at a price above Sh75 a matter that has been causing uproar from city residents.

City Hall licensing officer Michael Akoko and other enforcement officers from the county’s trade department raided Tuskys, Naivas and Eastmart supermarkets in the central business district.

Eastmart supermarket along Tom Mboya street, was found selling 2kg flour packet of Jogoo and Jimbi at Sh85 and Sh82 respectively.

“We were carrying out maize flour price compliance operation as part of our routine licensing inspections. We have gone to various supermarkets and most of the have complied with the government advice. It is only Eastmatt Supermarket which has not fully complied but the rest we have gone to have complied,” said Mr Akoko.

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The Eastmart supermarket manager Moses Mwangi however defended the prices claiming that millers who were supplying flour had not lowered their prices.

“Those who sell the maize flour to us have not reduced their prices to comply with the directive by the government and so it is really putting us at a tight spot adjusting our prices,” told Mr Mwangi.

Tuskys supermarket located along Kenyatta avenue and Naivas were compliant with the prices of a packet of 2kg unga going for Sh75 and Sh71 for Jogoo and Kifaru respectively.

Akoko affirmed that the search will continue until all supermarkets and retailers have complied with the directive upon which a final report will be made and forwarded to the trade department for further action. He said, “It will continue for days as it is supposed to be carried all over the county.”

Nairobi county government2kg maize flourmaize flour pricesPresident Uhuru KenyattaNairobi County governor Mike SonkoAgriculture Cabinet SecretaryMwangi KiunjuriMichael AkokoTuskysNaivasEastm