It appears Kenyans will not be getting the relief they were promised regarding a drop in the price of Unga. This is after the government admitted that the planned importation of duty-free maize has hit a dead end.
Speaking Sunday night in a televised interview, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua claimed that cheap maize is not available anywhere in the world.
Gachagua said the only country willing to sell maize to Kenya is Zambia and the earliest that can be done is in September this year.
“The maize is not available anywhere in the world. The CS for Agriculture and the PS the Hon. Mithika Linturi were in Zambia which produces maize and there is no maize available. The only maize that is available is in South Africa and we are in competition with Angola and Rwanda for the same maize. The maize in Brazil, bringing it here the cost is too high,” said the DP during a roundtable media interview.
Asked why the government was not importing maize directly, Gachagua said: “The Government does not want to import maize directly because we don’t want corruption and scandals. We don’t want people in Government to get into business.”
The DP added: “We advertised for millers and other people to apply to be given permits to import duty-free maize so that we can bring down the cost of maize flour. Unfortunately, and I am sorry to tell the people of Kenya, there is no maize almost everywhere in the world.”
Rigathi Gachagua at the same time told Kenyans to brace themselves for difficult times ahead.
“It is a difficult situation, it is two months ago, almost three when we gave people permits to import maize, and most of those people are telling us, where they have gone, they are competing with the government for the same maize. There is a problem of maize unavailability everywhere in the world.
“I don’t want to portray a very dark future, but I want to say it is not easy.”