• On Sunday, millers assured consumers that the Sh100 unga will be widely available this week.
• The millers had said that the normal supply of maize flour would resume between Monday and Tuesday as the process of incorporating millers into the subsidy programmes comes to an end.
There is a shortage of maize flour in the supermarkets a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced a subsidy on maize flour.
On Wednesday, the President announced the Fifth Stimulus Programme covering the supply and distribution of maize flour across the country at a cost of Sh8 billion, to help lower the cost of living for vulnerable households.
Uhuru pronounced that a 2kg packet of maize flour shall retail at Sh100 down from Sh205 until otherwise directed.
But accessing the subsidized maize flour has been a nightmare for many Kenyans.
The Star spoke to attendants from various supermarkets within the CBD, including those at Naivas and Quickmart who said that maize flour supply is low hence the limitation to two packets of maize flour per customer.
Wagaki Nyaro, a resident of Buruburu, said she has been going to the supermarket for the last five days to purchase her preferred brand of maize flour but it is not available.
She has resorted to using sifted maize flour from the posho mill in order to feed her family.
“I went to the supermarket on my way home from work and an attendant told me that I needed to come early when the unga was available. He told me the maize flour comes between 10.00 and within one hour it is finished. He said the unga comes in small quantities so there is a rush to buy the little that is available,” said Nyaro.
Hillary Enos from Lower Kabete said he has had to shift to eating rice or spaghetti because of the shortage of maize flour.
“If you want to buy the Sh100 maize flour, you have to go to the supermarkets early. But I am busy during the day and I can only shop in the evening on my way home or during the weekends,” he said.
A spot check by the Star on Tuesday showed that many of the shelves for unga are empty and in other supermarkets, only a few of the premium brands like Amaize and Hostess are available and they are retailing at Sh230.
On Sunday, millers assured consumers that the Sh100 unga will be widely available this week as the Government finalises the process of introducing subsidies.
The millers had said that the normal supply of maize flour would resume between Monday and Tuesday as the process of incorporating millers into the subsidy programmes comes to an end, but this is yet to happen though the millers say they are milling full out.
On Friday, Agriculture CS Peter Munya warned all agencies involved in the subsidy initiative against any mischief, fraud, or misappropriations including hoarding during this programme.
While speaking to the media brief on the maize subsidy programme, the CS said severe legal action shall be taken against any identified breach.
Last week, there was panic buying as consumers rushed to supermarkets to buy Sh100 maize flour after the Government announced the subsidy programme.
But the CS assured Kenyans that there is no rationing of the subsidised maize flour and they should stop panic buying as has been experienced in some supermarkets.
“There is no need to panic and stock excess maize flour. Just buy enough, as you normally do. There will still be enough in the market from the end of August 2022," he said.
"However, we are monitoring the situation closely and if the need arises we might limit purchases to each retailer. There may be a limit of 4-6 kgs per retail customer to ensure that many people access the flour.”