The cost of food in the country has been going up every day; because of this Kenyans took to social media calling for low food prices hitting out at the government for failing to deal with the ever rising prices of the basic commodities.
Under the #Lowerfoodprices, Kenyans took to social media last week to decry the increase in prices of basic food commodities such as cooking oil, bread, maize flour among other commodities.
“Tunang’ang’ana hivi mpaka sasa hatuna mbele….hata sioni kama kuna serikali.kuna watoto wanaenda shule, so mostly ile food ilibaki ya jana mi huachia wanakula lunch time…mimi nakaa njaa siku yote hadi jioni tena. We are really struggling…in fact I don’t feel like there is a government in place …because of the current hard economic times I hardly eat lunch i instead give the previous dinner left overs to my children so that they could have it for lunch the following day,” Ann Njeri who survives from the wages of menial jobs from Mlango Kubwa reveals.
Since the year 2020, the price of maize flour, 1kg sugar, and 1 litre of cooking oil as well as LPG refill has risen sharply.
For example 2kg maize flour in 2020 used to retail at 90 shillings, the same is retailing at 130 shillings, 1 kg of Sugar used to retail at 114 shillings but now retailing at 150 shillings, 1 litre of cooking oil currently retailing at 350 shillings from 285 shillings in 2020, 6kg gas retailing at 1200 shillings from 950, while 13 kg currently retailing ta 2850 from 2000 shillings.
“Unajua hii mwaka ndio mwaka ya siasa na macabinate secretaries waliresign , bunge mwezi ujao itakuwa inavunjwa , sasa watu watakuwa tu wametawanyika hatutakuwa na mwelekeo.2022 is an electioneering year, we have seen a number of cabinet secretaries resigning…so do you think the government will care about our problems or they will be busy campaigning,” Ken Osinde a resident from Kibra says.
According to the up to date report from the Kenya National Bureau of statistics KNBS the food prices did rise by 8.89 percent in January hence making it difficult for the many Kenyans to put food on the table.it also indicated that the consumer price index increased by 0.31 percent from an index of 118.274 in December of 2021 to 118.642 in January 2022.
Additionally the International Monetary Fund 2022 World Economic outlook did focus difficult times ahead especially for developing economies; the IMF did warn that the steep rising fuel and even gas prices will eventually push inflation to levels that were last witnessed during the global recession in 2008.
“Hii maisha imekuwa ngumu sana juu kama jana nilikuwa supermarket nikaangalia mafuta ya kupika 1 litre ilikuwa 300 , imagine mafuta ni 300 , sahii unga ndio hiyo imepanda to 135 , bread sahii imepanda inafact sahii hatukuli bread. Life has become too difficult for us, yesterday I was at the supermarket and I couldn’t believe my eyes, prices of basic food items have really shot up, from cooking oil, bread …nowadays because of this hard economic time I rarely eat bread,” Tracy ule mrastar from Kitengela said
But sadly Kenyans cry has taken a political angle with politicians milking it dry and instead using it as campaign tool now that the country is gearing towards the august 9th general election.
For instance the Kenya Kwanza Alliance did blame the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga for the spiraling public debt and the high cost of living.
They alleged that the handshake had left the country with huge debt especially from the International lenders adding that the debt had increased compared to when President Uhuru Kenyatta was working closely with his Deputy William Ruto.
“It may be of interest to note that debt commitment pre handshake was 4.5 trillion shillings and post handshake figure has ballooned to 11.7 trillion shillings the question is this was the handshake a license to burdening Kenyans with punitive public debt, punitive taxation, punitive food prices, and a high cost of living?” ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi said during a Kenya Kwanza coalition press address.
“According to the National Treasury the public debt has grown six folds to 11.7 trillion shillings, 8.2 trillion as direct public debt and 3.5 trillion of guaranteed commitments as of February 2022…the Cabinet secretary for the National treasury exceeded the set debt ceiling without seeking loan approval from Parliament in total violation of the constitution and the public finance act of 2012,” He added.
But the Azimio La Umoja movement did not take this criticism lying down instead accusing the Deputy President for contributing to the high cost of living by emptying the public coffers.
Through its Presidential aspirant Raila Odinga, he took a swipe at the Kenya kwanza coalition for opting to complain instead of offering solutions to the current problem.
“He contributes over 100 million shillings in Harambees and buying school buses yet he only earns 2 million shillings a month. Where does he get all that money?” Raila asked this while on a campaign tour in Kisauni on 22nd February.
On his part Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho lambasted Ruto for telling lies blaming Ruto for importing maize, involving himself in the Arror and Kimwarer dam scandal and also contributing to the fall of the National Cereals and Produce Board NCPB.
I am a little concerned with the way each political movement is blaming the other considering all these political outfits have their people who seat in parliament. Both of those coalitions have Members of Parliament who are representing there interests. Let’s be reminded that parliament has a single role of over sighting the executives spending and it is the one that sets the debt ceiling so all these MPs in Azimio and Kenya Kwanza are all collectively responsible for where we find ourselves now. In fact some of the measures that currently contribute to the high cost of food that we are experiencing is the issue about taxation, which squarely false on the members of parliament because they are the ones who do approve the said taxes for the government to be able to levy those taxes.
We also need to climate proof our Agriculture, where parliament must oversight and keep the government under check to ensure this is implemented, not forgetting looking at the prices of fertilizer which farmers have been decrying all along.
BY WEMA TOYWA #WEMA’STAKE
VIDEO OF THE DAY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzw187Nm9cI