President William Ruto's pledge to provide affordable maize meal flour to the citizens of Kenya has fallen short of expectations.
Two weeks after announcing the availability of Unga priced between Sh150 and Sh200, intended to alleviate the burden of high living costs, the promised product has mysteriously vanished from supermarket shelves.
The head of state specifically assured the public that the flour would be readily found at Quickmart and Naivas Supermarkets, offering consumers a range of options to suit their preferences.
However, the reality is far from the envisioned affordability. The prices of maize meal flour have surged towards the Sh250 mark, with some brands already surpassing this price point.
A quick look at one of the supermarkets Ruto mentioned painted a totally different picture as for 2-kilogram maize meal flour packets retailed as follows: Amaize at Sh250, Pembe at Sh227, Jogoo at Sh235, Soko at Sh230, Mama at Sh220, and Raha at Sh269.
Comparing the prices of flour between mid-May, the end of May, and June 7, 2023, the upward trend becomes evident.
Jogoo, for example, sold for Sh208 in mid-May and Sh195 at the end of May, but has now escalated to Sh235.
Pembe followed a similar trajectory, starting at Sh208 and Sh195, only to reach Sh227.
Mama flour was priced at Sh198 in May and has now risen to Sh220 in June.
Soko witnessed a climb from Sh207 to Sh215 and currently stands at Sh230.
Amaize experienced a slight increase from Sh249 to Sh247, stabilizing at Sh250.
Mama flour, despite a temporary decrease from Sh198 to Sh204, has also reached Sh220.
Maize meal flour holds immense significance as the main ingredient in Kenya's staple food, Ugali.
However, the rising cost has reached historic heights compared to the days when it was priced between Sh80 and Sh100.
This surge in prices has become a primary concern and contributed to the opposition's protests against the government's failure to curb the escalating cost of living.
Ruto had made promises during his campaign to address this issue within the first few days of his term, yet tangible results remain elusive, leaving citizens across the country still grappling with the burden of high living expenses.
The current situation calls for urgent measures to tackle the escalating prices of maize meal flour and fulfil the promise of accessible and affordable food for all Kenyans.
As the nation awaits decisive action from the government, the public's concerns about the cost of living continue to mount, emphasizing the pressing need for tangible solutions and a more transparent approach to alleviating the financial strain on the population.