Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has cleared the air about the Ksh 100 Maize flour prices that soared after the withdrawal of the maize flour subsidy program by his boss the President. DP Gachagua pointed out the subsidy as a timely remedy and not permanent.
He emphasized the need for withdrawal terming the subsidy as a temporary solution that proved costly for the taxpayers hence a need to assess and come up with a definite solution to the matter at hand.
“We are looking for a permanent and sustainable solution. It would have been deceptive to Kenyans to continue subsidizing the fuel only for a short while and then have an economic shutdown. I want to urge our people to be patient because things will work out. We do not want a solution that is temporary or deceptive like the one done for UNGA,” the DP stated.
DP Gachagua maintained the move by the government to withdraw the subsidy was helpful as he cited the millers took advantage of the situation and sought to extort the state over the subsidy as maize was capped at Ksh 100 per two-kilogram packet.
“We will not pay bills without verification. They are telling us they have pending bills of Ksh8 billion yet nobody ever saw the UNGA. It was all theft – a few traders colluding with a few government officials took advantage of the subsidy,” he stated.
During the interview at NTV DP Gachagua revealed the subsidy had garnered pending bills worth up to Ksh 8 billion since the inception by the former president Uhuru Kenyatta till its end in August.
In such for answers on how the subsidy money was spent, the DP called on a need for scrutiny of the bills paid to the millers and a follow-up on how the flour was delivered to the retailers before remitting payments.
“The bills must be validated because these are public funds. Officers must be convinced that public money was used in the right way before they can pay, that I can assure you. The inspection validation and auditing will be done in a thorough manner and if they are genuine, they will be paid, if they are not, of course, they are consequences,” Gachagua emphasized.
Despite the high rise in prices of both fuel and consumer products, the DP has called on Kenyans to be patient as his government seeks solutions to the issues once and for all.