Maize flour prices still high in Mombasa despite govt’s directive



Mombasa,KENYA:Mombasa residents have not yet felt relief over the price of maize flour as  traders refuse to yield to government’s directive to lower the cost of unga.

A spot check by Baraka FM showed that supermarkets and shop owners are still selling a 2kg unga packet between 135 to 150 shillings instead of the recommended 90 shillings price.

At several supermarkets like Budget, Uchumi and Aone, prices of unga remained the same with no notable change.

However, speaking under condition of anonymity, a supermarket attendant said the reason for retaining the older prices is because they must clear their stock to avoid losses.

Meanwhile a section of residents have rubbished the move to lower prices of unga alleging that it is politically motivated.

Chrispin Ogumbe said the government would have considered the issue long ago had it been considerate enough of her citizens.

“It is something that the government would have considered ever long time ago. I think the government has a hidden agenda maybe to bring together all the minds before the polls.” He claimed.

Political activist Raphael Dienyo castigated the government saying it is playing politics on the maize issue instead of focusing on reviving the economy.

According to him, the government has not yet fulfilled the promises it made to Kenyans during the 2013 election campaigns and wondered how well it can solve the maize issue.

“I urge the government to stop playing politics on the maize business. Why not focus on the collapsing economy? We are yet to see the promises they made to Kenyans during the previous campaign.” He added.

Mark Newmark, a resident of Mshomoroni, blames unscrupulous traders for hiking the prices of basic commodities to make profits.

He argues that government will find it difficult to enforce price regulations since most grain millers are privately owned.

“His Excellency does not own some of the grain milling companies and therefore has no exclusive right to lower prices.  These companies belong to private firms.” He added.

Millicent a business woman at the Mombasa Island said she is anxiously waiting for the fulfillment of the governments’ decree on unga prices.