Five traders in Kwale County have been arrested for hiking the price of the government provided subsidized maize flour.
County Commissioner Mr. Kutswa Olaka who confirmed the arrest during Madaraka Day celebrations at Baraza Park in Kwale town said the suspects would be taken to court today.
Mr. Olaka warned greedy traders fleecing members of the public by forcing them to pay more for the maize meal than the recommended Sh90 per 2kg packet of dire consequences.
A survey by KNA revealed that some shops have been retailing the flour at Sh120 and further, customers were also being forced to purchase additional items for them to get the cheap flour.
“Traders should stick to the recommended price. The government will take stern action on those found overcharging customers,” Mr. Olaka warned after reading the Presidential speech during the celebrations that were marred by rains.
He also asked the public to report to the authority, shopkeepers who are inflating the price of the maize flour.
On the non-availability of the flour, Mr. Olaka urged residents to be patient as the government was in the process of supplying the commodity in plenty to the region.
“Some parts of the county have received the flour but we are doing all we can to ensure that residents benefit fully from the subsidized flour,” he said.
Contacted some shopkeepers accused wholesalers of selling the commodity to them expensively hence forcing them to also sell it at a higher price to avoid losses.
Meanwhile, Chiefs in Vihiga County have been directed to identify retailers selling government subsidized flour at prices higher than officially recommended by the national government.
The direction was given by area County Commissioner Pauline Dolla when she addressed residents at Kidundu playground near Vihiga town during celebrations to mark the country’s 54th Madaraka day celebration on Thursday.
Dolla regretted that some unscrupulous traders, out to make a kill, were sabotaging government’s effort aimed at enabling area citizens access affordable meals by inflating subsidized commodities.
“I am instructing all chiefs and their assistants in this county to identify and arrest any business person selling flour more expensive than government recommended price of Sh90 per 2 kilograms packet,” directed Dolla, warning any trader arrested over the same would face stiffer penalties.
She also directed the local administrators to roundup shopkeepers accused of forcing helpless locals to purchase extra type of goods as a precondition to access flour.
“The same should apply to businesspersons claimed to be hoarding commodity. We cannot allow unscrupulous traders to hold ransom helpless buyers,” remarked the county commissioner.
Dolla was responding to some of the grievances raised by the residents prior to her delivering the president’s speech, which was hallmark of the occasion. She reiterated the call for peaceful campaigns ahead of the August 8 general election.