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September 22, 2017

Government should come clean on maize subsidy

The Philippines flagged vessel at the port of Mombasa with 29,900 tonnes of Maize from Mexico, Agricultural CS Willy Bett said that the price of Maize could drop but it will be announced at a later date./ELKANA JACOB
The Philippines flagged vessel at the port of Mombasa with 29,900 tonnes of Maize from Mexico, Agricultural CS Willy Bett said that the price of Maize could drop but it will be announced at a later date./ELKANA JACOB

The government should be much more open on the subject of the Sh6 billion maize subsidy. The pressure MPs exerted on Agriculture CS Willy Bett when he appeared before the Agriculture Committee yesterday, demanding all sorts of documentary evidence, indicated there has been anything but full disclosure, even before the House.

Some MPs argued even the subsidised price of Sh90 per 2kg packet of unga is still high. And then there is the fact that instead of making multibillionaire millers even richer with the subsidy, the government ought to have spent the money on maize farmers.

Government should come clean and release the full list of who got what money and how many packets of subsidised maize have been released to the market.

Giving the impression that there is something to hide will only make hungry Kenyans angry people.

When he goes back before the committee on Thursday next week, Bett would do well to make full disclosure on this matter. The country is watching.

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