Raila blames Uhuru on unga shortage, calls for long-term solution

Raila blames Uhuru on unga shortage, calls for long-term solution
Photo: Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga at a Nairobi Uchumi supermarket branch yesterday. Photo/COURTESY

National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga has criticised Jubilee administration for failing to adequately address the maize flour shortage gripping the country.

He urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to negotiate with other governments to import more maize to end the problem. Noting that countries in the entire Eastern Africa region are also grappling with food shortage, he said private businesses will find it hard to bring in stocks, hence the need for a government to government engagement and then issue orders to local importers to bring the maize to the country.

“No businessman is going to invest billions to import maize unless they are assured that the same will be bought from them. The government is doing none of these. It is caught in deep slumber and paralysed by corruption, incompetence and conflicts of interest,” he said during a press conference at Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington Nairobi.

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Raila, who earlier in the day went shopping at a local supermarket, where he missed maize flour, said that the Opposition still believes that the current famine has been manufactured by the government for political reasons.

“We called for a commission to inquire into the present food shortage with a view to ascertaining and reporting on the causes, and to make recommendations to prevent recurrence. Nothing has happened.

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The President is on business as usual looking for votes and wishing the famine away while mourning just like all other Kenyans,” he said. The Nasa leader blamed the government for only supplying 90 per cent of the maize from the Strategic Grain Reserves to large maize millers who control only 40 per cent of the unga market while forgetting the small scale local millers and posho mills who command more than 60 per cent of the market. Raila also accused the government of failing to reveal the support it received from donors and development after sending an appeal for assistance.

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