The Nairobi County Government on Thursday launched a crackdown on traders who are flouting a presidential directive to sale maize flour at recommended price.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko ordered for the operation after it emerged that some unscrupulous traders in Nairobi were exploiting Kenyans by selling a 2kg packet of Unga at Sh100 retail price, instead of the recommended price of Sh75.
However, during the operation conducted by City Hall Inspectorate Department and the Trade and Licensing Department, it emerged that most Supermarkets in Nairobi’s Central Business District had complied with the directive to reduce the price of a 2kg packet of maize flour from Sh100 to Sh75.
A number of leading supermarkets in the city’s CBD including Tuskys, Naivas and Choppies have already complied with the directive by lowering the price.
Only one supermarket in the CBD had contravened the directive.
Eastmatt Supermarket along Tom Mboya street was found to be retailing a 2kg packet of Unga at Sh85.
The supermarket’s Manager Joseph Mwangi, however, promised to implement President Uhuru Kenyatta and Governor Sonko’s directive to lower maize flour prices by next week.
City Hall Trade and Licensing officer, Michael Akoko who led the operation in the city center, said the crackdown will continue in all Nairobi’s estates to ensure traders retail a 2kg packet of unga at Sh75.
“We have launched the operation today and we are going to sustain it for a while until the directive is fully implemented. We are also going to take action against the traders who flout the directive,” said Akoko.
Governor Sonko issued the directive last week following an order by President Kenyatta to millers to reduce the price of a 2kg of maize flour from Sh100 to Sh75, arguing that there was more than enough maize in the country.
“By the end of this year, the country will have a stock of 56 million bags against an annual consumption of 52 million bags, this means there will a surplus of four million bags hence significance reduction of a maize flour.’’ said the President last week during the official opening of the Nairobi International Trade fair.
The president’s statement was echoed by Sonko, who warned that any retailer who will be involved in overprizing Unga, will face the law with the county withdrawing his or her business permit.
He said, ‘’ I am hereby warning all supermarkets and shop owners against increasing price of 2kg of maize flour beyond Sh75, if any retailer will be caught doing so, the county will have to revoke his permit. The government has not increased the same.’’
Meanwhile, Sonko has also issued a warning to milk sellers in the city who inflate their prices and those who dilute their milk in order get more profits.
“The food prices operation will also be extended to milk retailers who are reportedly inflating their prices. We have received a number of complaints at City Hall of milk traders who dilute their milk in order to gain maximum profits from their sales,” added Sonko.