Unscrupulous traders hike prices of subsidized maize flour

Unscrupulous traders in Kabete and Kikuyu sub counties have hiked prices of government subsidized maize flour after concealing its identity as the flour shortage bites.

A spot check at supermarkets and shops in the two sub counties revealed that the subsidized maize flour was hardly found at the area but the outlets had stocks of maize flour packed in polythene papers.

The outlets were selling the unlabeled maize flour at between 60 and 80 shillings per kilogramme.

Effort by the press to establish sources of the unlabelled maize flour found being sold by the traders was fruitless as they were uncooperative to disclose their sources.

Some traders who sought anonymity said they were not interested in stocking the government subsidized maize flour as it was profitless.

The traders have been put on notice against hiking prices of the government subsidized maize with a severe punishment for contravening the order.

Kikuyu sub county Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Paul Famba confirmed that his office had received reports about the illicit traders some of whom were reportedly selling a two kilogram packet of the subsidized maize flour at Sh.120 instead of Sh. 90.

Do not allow the traders to exploit you because the government has subsidized the flour cost incurred by millers in order to have the prices also reduced for consumers, he told the residents, and called on them to report on traders hiking the flour prices to security officers.

He further lamented that the unscrupulous traders were removing the government label on the packets then repackaging and selling it exorbitantly.

Security agents have information of traders who are repackaging the flour to conceal its identity and they will soon be arrested and prosecuted, Famba warned.

He reminded the traders of a harsh penalty of up to one million shillings fine to the unscrupulous traders caught overcharging the subsidized maize flour.

No trader from the two sub counties has been arrested yet.

Source: Kenya News Agency