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Opposition leader Raila Odinga at a city supermarket. [Photo: Pius Cheruiyot, Standard]


Opposition leader Raila Odinga at a city supermarket. [Photo: Pius Cheruiyot, Standard]

National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of failing to cushion Kenyans against the high cost of basic commodities.

Raila said despite the Opposition calling on the Jubilee administration to put in place measures to address the on-going hunger and unavailability of maize flour in the country, little has been done.

“On June 7, we asked Uhuru to immediately fly to Ethiopia and ask his counterpart to sell maize to Kenyans. We also asked the President to fire Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, his Devolution counterpart Mwangi Kiunjuri and Principal Secretary for Agriculture Richard Lesiyampe for deliberately misleading Kenyans on the famine situation,” Raila said when he addressed the media in Nairobi Sunday.

Raila also said NASA had called for a commission to inquire into the present food shortage and report on the causes, and give recommendations to prevent a recurrence.

Remind President

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“Nothing has happened. The President is on business as usual looking for votes and wishing the famine away while mourning just like all other Kenyans. Our purpose today is to remind the President that Kenyans still have no unga and to express our strong and growing belief that this famine has been manufactured by Jubilee,” he said.

He noted that last Monday, the media reported that Uhuru had summoned the Cabinet secretaries for Agriculture and Transport to brief him about the unga shortage in the counties.

“We were shocked but not surprised. Unga has been missing in the counties even after the launch of the failed Government subsidy scheme. Uhuru was only realising this three months since the famine started,” Raila said.

He said the Jubilee administration wanted to starve Kenyans into desperation with a view to procuring and supplying food in the final weeks to the elections.

But Mr Kiunjuri said 55,000 metric tonnes of imported rice had arrived in Mombasa for distribution to famine-stricken Kenyans.

Subsidised maize

Kiunjuri also said subsidised maize stocks would be supplied to millers in the coming days and accused NASA of politicising the food crisis.

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“Already, 55,000 tonnes of rice from China have arrived in Mombasa. This is relief food that will be distributed to the affected families free of charge,” he said.

He said Government officials had been directed to move around the country to assess the food shortage and monitor whether Government interventions were benefiting Kenyans.

The CS warned businessmen against inflating subsidised maize flour prices, saying action would be taken against those selling a 2kg packet above the stipulated price of Sh90.

“The Government will make sure the millers get enough maize stocks. But we expect that the benefits of the subsidised maize flour will reach Kenyans,” he said.