Uhuru tell state agencies to curb hoarding, check unga prices

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address crowd in Molo Town, Nakuru County. (Photo: Kipsang Joseph/Standard)

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed State agencies to crackdown on traders hoarding cheap maize flour in a bid to make quick profits.

Speaking in Nakuru County Saturday, Mr Kenyatta said the Government will impose penalties and sanctions on those engaging in this vice.

Unscrupulous traders

“It has come to my attention that unscrupulous traders are hoarding the cheap maize flour that the government introduced last month. Let them know that the government has powers to prosecute them,” he told a jubilant crowd at Salgaa Trading centre where he began the second leg of his three-day tour.

The President who was accompanied by his deputy William Ruto urged wananchi to be considerate of others as the buy the cheap unga.

Kenyatta was forced to talk matters unga after the crowd at the trading centre started chanting: “Unga! unga! unga!” as he addressed them.

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The President assured mwananchi that his administration will address the issue.

He said the government’s Sh6.5 billion maize subsidy programme will go on until the current crisis is addressed.

“My government’s intention is to make sure all Kenyans benefit from the programme,” he said.

Last month, the President took the drastic steps to reduce food prices by launching the populist project.

Once it was rolled out, thousand of Kenyans flocked retail outlets to grab a packet of the cheap unga that retails at Sh90 for a two-kilo packet.

Blamed NASA

“We are not only looking at the short term measure but also long-term intervention that will enable our farmers grow more crops,” he said.

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Some traders started hoarding the commodity to make quick cash.

The rising cost of food has been a key campaign agenda. National Super Alliance (NASA) has been blaming Jubilee for the soaring cost of food, saying costly maize flour was reason enough to vote them out come August 8. On their part, President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto slammed Opposition leaders for copying Jubilee’s pledge for Free Secondary Education.

Addressing a separate campaign meeting in Nakuru town Saturday evening, the Jubilee leaders said the NASA team led by its presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga has ran out of ideas.

“I was surprised to hear Raila Odinga telling his supporters in Kakamega that NASA will offer Free Secondary Education beginning September next year. These people lack serious political agenda to sell to Kenyans,” the Deputy President said.

Mr Ruto slammed the NASA leaders saying in every political campaign meeting they have made the President and him the subject of discussion.

“How could it be that the five men always make the President and I the agenda for their campaign rallies?” he posed.

The team also touched on the Standard Gauge Railway saying it will open up Nakuru’s economy once the second phase is completed.

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