In a live television interview yesternight, Investment, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria found himself in a somewhat embarrassing situation when he made unsound claims about the prices of cooking oil in Kenya.
The incident occurred during a joint production in a local media house which was focused on evaluating President William Ruto‘s achievements and failures during his first year in office.
Moses Kuria is being embarassed on Citizen TV
How it started. How its going pic.twitter.com/TUGDgUTwJY
— SHANKI👑 (@ShankiAustine) September 13, 2023
The controversy arose when a presentation of the approximate cost of cooking oil in the country as of September 13, 2023, at Ksh 340 per litre, down from Ksh 450 on the same date the previous year.
However, CS Kuria took issue with these figures, asserting that measures implemented by the Kenya Kwanza government had led to a much more significant reduction in cooking oil prices than what was being reported.
“I wish your figures were factual. You pride yourselves that your TV is the most watched in the country, so don’t forget that somebody is watching you from a supermarket, so be careful,” CS Kuria commented during the broadcast.
He continued, “Cooking oil is much lower than what you project there, and Kenyans know that. You’ve said correctly that the price has come down, but it’s not even to the level you have said. It is by 50% since we came to government.”
When asked to provide his own estimate to rival the Ksh 340 figure, CS Kuria confidently claimed that he had information indicating that the price of cooking oil was at least Ksh 100 lower than the journalist’s approximation.
“It is much lower than that, it’s in the region of Ksh 230 to Ksh 240… everyone can be entitled to their own opinions, but not everyone can be entitled to their own facts. Facts are universal,” Kuria Said.
However, less than 20 minutes, a reporter went live from a Naivas supermarket outlet in the North Rift town to fact-check these claims.
The investigation revealed that while some cooking oil brands had prices lower than the projections made but none came close to CS Kuria’s alleged authoritative figure.
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According to the spot-check, one brand was selling one litre of cooking oil at Ksh 355, another at Ksh 347, and the relatively cheaper ones were priced at Ksh 307 and Ksh 325.
When confronted with these new figures, CS Kuria’s response was somewhat evasive.
He suggested that the production crew in Eldoret should “now go to Ruiru” and check prices there, stating, “we’re here for two hours, what’s the hurry for?”