If you wonder why suddenly the prices are running high for the UNGA again in Kenya. That is because the state has added taxes, they are trying to collect more money again. This is happening because its months since the elections and the subsidized UNGA is history. Therefore, expect rising prices, the maize and milk cartels want their profits. If they happen to in the pocket of the government at the same time. Is just convenient, even some of the companies earning on the sky-rocketing prices is the President himself and his own companies. I am sure the DP also owns connected businesses that could eat of the this plate too. While the ordinary and poor population will struggle to have ends meet as the government are taxing them even more.
“Poor households would be more exposed in the amendments with sweeping implications on many sectors, as the State seeks to raise Sh1.75 trillion in the next financial year. Most basic commodities are not taxed to cushion the poor, but the changes that will be proposed in the national budget will end that. “We are looking at exemptions on several products that are widely consumed, but not on VAT such as milk, sugar, maize flour, wheat flour…,” said Benson Korongo, a commissioner of Kenya Revenue Authority” (Michira, 2018).
Prediction of the reaction to the taxes:
“Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter” (…) “Suppliers of the affected supplies will not be able to claim any input tax incurred in making of such supplies. This cost will be borne by the final consumers. Reverting to exemption of these basic commodities a year later after they had been zero-rated will lead to an increase in their prices rendering them less affordable to the ordinary Citizens” (…) “The supply of maize (corn) flour, ordinary bread and cassava flour, wheat or meslin flour and maize flour containing cassava flour by more than 10% in weight” (…) “Reverting to exemption of these basic commodities a year later after they had been zero-rated will lead to an increase in their prices rendering them less affordable to ordinary Citizens” (Ey Global Tax Alert Library, 2018)
It is special when Ernest & Young (EY) whose is known for their advice for potential investors and people who plans for invest in a republic. They have usual advice, which shows the potential and the grips of reality. Their analysis from April are now coming in effect in the end of May, as the local papers like Standard write about it now. But they say it might happen in July.
The state has favorably subsidized it and also imported on its own, that might happen again. But the added tax will hit the public. Make the staple food more expensive, because of added taxes. The shops, the importers, the distribution companies will not take the hit. The hit is always ending up at the consumer, the buyer and not the ones who produce, distribute and sells. That is known and the way we play. Seriously, when the state plans with these taxes to earn over a trillion shillings, nearly two, means they are anticipating selling enough of the needed goods and services connected with the new taxes to actually be sold.
So the prices on the staple is rising, because the Jubilee Government, the President and his party is doing it. This is their orders and their will, it is not the international market or a drought, it is initial planning and what the state does to get more revenue.
Jubilee whose are eating all of the state, needs more revenue to make another NYS Scandal, take more funds from the likes of NHIF and inappropriately use unaccounted funds in the various government bodies. Peace.
EY Global Tax Alert Library – ‘Kenya issues Tax Amendment Bill, 2018’ (April 2018)
Michira, Moses – ‘Red alert: Why the cost of food will go up in july’ (16.05.2018)
Certainly, one of these days the Jubilee government Cabinet Secretaries going to wake-up from their sleep and start to act with common sense. Since the release of subsidized maize and opening imports, the markets has not overflowed with Unga. Neither, the reality that some of the millers kept stockpiles of it, as they knew they would be subsidized from the state. So why sell it months ahead, when you can keep it steady and unleash when you get double bonus. The Jubilee government knows this and therefore right on the day of the subsidized maize and the possible export provisions came into effects. Boats with foreign maize came pouring in through the ports of Mombasa.
“He witnessed the arrival of 12,000 bags through the Rift Valley Railways yesterday. “To ensure every Kenyan enjoys the Sh90 subsidised maize flour, all maize from Mombasa will be removed using SGR, RVR and trucks,” Bett said. In two weeks, the market has been experiencing a shortage of unga. “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” he said” (Ngotho, 2017).
CS Willy Bett, need some guidance, needs some reassurance and some sort of stiff upper-lips for insulting fellow citizens. It isn’t the sudden love for UNGA. This the staple food. This is what Kenyans are known to eat. UNGA, Ugali or Posho (Ugandan I know). Still, the maize flour meals is not a well-kept hidden secret. It would be like taking potatoes as out of the equation when feeding massive parts of Northern Europe. That is just the staple food. Period.
The CS clearly, has some internal issues and need to stop thinking he can deceive fellow citizens. As the indicated exports combined with the stockpiling was very evident. That people are buying lots of it now, is because they might even fear for more scarcity. Since it isn’t only drought, but man-made problems that has given way to shortage of UNGA.
It is time to wake-up for Mr. Bett and smell the UNGA. Time to see and relieve his fellow brothers and sisters. Not just find excuses upon excuses and think it can save his grace. You do not take away some-ones staple and think you can get away with it. Seriously, that is insulting. The insinuation and undermining of the needs and the will of Kenyans. Are evident in his approach to the UNGA crisis. This should not be forgotten, because his grace has clearly not done his job and then blames the citizens for either their staple food! Peace.
You know something is fishy when the markets suddenly has maize flour in the stores as the 2 kg packaged that is produced in Kenya and milled in Kenya. This comes as the fixed subsidized prices comes into effect. Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, who has been in Port of Mombasa in the recent days. Being proud of the delivery of imported maize flour.
That their been shortage and that the markets has had less in storage is the evidence of the escalating prices. Therefore when COSMO millers comes with milled in March 2017 and is expiring in August 2017. Also, that the shortfall in between the fixed price and the balance has to be covered by the state. As the prices has clearly gone to high and than the government stepped in. But the ones coming of the boat during this week. Couldn’t suddenly appear in the shop. It had to be taken care of and repackaged, even milled if it was pure corn.
That the package of the milled maize flour now has the label of GoK, as the Jubilee fronting their good work. As they trying to look like they stopped a scandal and shortage. The Government clearly has either ordered the millers, agreed with the millers or tried to put a shortage to suddenly see the likes of COSMO filling the market with stock. The 30,000 tons of IVS Pinehurst couldn’t jump into the market this quickly and change into subsidy “GoK 90/-”, which is today’s new feature in Kenya. They want to look like a saviors, instead of the ones who created this. But it is suspect that milled in March dropped on the marked instant after the subsidized maize we’re released. It seems like clockwork.
So the questions doesn’t stop with the sudden drop and the evident approach. As Port of Mombasa and Millers clearly has worked in accordance with the government. As they had the papers for the package of flour and could quickly deliver it to the shops. Therefore, this seem like a planned enterprise as the delivered flour, which should gone from port to millers. Really hit the stores in amp-speed. Little two quick for that amount.
It makes it seem like it all was a short-con by the Jubilee, to gain popularity on the staple-food. As their stories of origin of the vessel and the maize, that even been countered by the Mexican Authorities, as well as the vessel came from Mauritius and not South Africa. There are certain aspect of this story, that seem like a ploy. To get the prices down, but at the same time make sure the millers are getting more for the maize, than they did before. Also, make sure the profits are steady on the grounds of drought and yields. As the subsidized maize flour will surely benefit the private producers, who already earn on the higher prices.
There are questions that will not be answered, the reality is that there are certain signs that Kenyans shouldn’t be duped. Surely, the price is better now after the subsidize from Jubilee. Still, the look of artificial prices and sudden drop that the government can do. Also, that the millers could label GoK so quickly. Shows there certain aspects that the Jubilee and the Millers didn’t consider. The suspicious intent is because the Jubilee has always been more promotion and PR than actually considering their policies. That is the legacy they will leave behind. Peace.
The ship coming to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya, the IVS Pinehurst, which is owned by the Nisshin Shipping Co. Ltd, which is part of the Pool Operation at the Hansa Tankers. That is based in Bergen, Noway, so the Pinehurst is a bulk carrier. It is flagged through the Philippines. It’s call sign is DUHUB and it was built by Tsuneishi Cebu in 2015.
On Vessel Finder, the 13th January 2017the Pinehust was in Mumbai (ex. Bombay), India at 13:04 UTC. The next port it was in was Toamasina, Madagascar, which was on the 19th February 2017 at 11:04 UTC. The last port before Mombasa was at Port Louis, Mauritius on the 22nd April 2017 at 12:03 UTC. As the Port of Mauritius reveals, is that the vessels discharging coal. Therefore, the vessel had to be filled with maize before leaving for Mombasa. Carriers from Port Louis to Mombasa on route alternatives takes about 19 to 22 days. Therefore, the vessel couldn’t really have been so many days in between the tracking on Vessel Finder and suddenly in Mombasa. Especially, since it delivered coal to Mauritius.
So when the Government of Kenya says this about the vessel, you start to wonder if they even know how to google or even if other people knows how to search for maritime vessels. I don’t really do that, but found quickly out this information from sites that verifies this.
Therefore, the verified news from from Business Daily Africa:
“However, Transport Principal Secretary Dr Paul Mwangi said the maize was stored in South Africa and the vessel took only five days after importers were given the nod to ship it into the country.“The white maize was imported from South Africa from Mexico last year when there was a shortage in that country. The excess amount was stored in Durban and sold to Kenya by Inter Africa Gains PTY of Johannesburg,” Dr Mwangi said at the Mombasa port. “The maize is therefore Mexican White maize which was transhipped into Kenya from South Africa. The ship takes only five days to sail from South Africa to Mombasa and that is why the maize arrived quickly,” he added” (Marete, 2017).
So I wonder if Dr. Mwangi knows the internet and the inner-works of this. As it doesn’t take much searching for me find all these information, if the PS Mwangi, think that wasn’t enough. The Mexican Embassy in Nairobi has today officially said: “MEXICO DENIES direct deal on maize with Kenya and has no declarations on any commercial transactions, embassy in Kenya says” (NationBreakingNews, 15.05.2017). So that the PS Mwangi are saying this seems to be a lie. There are certainly something the Jubilee isn’t telling, as the Duty Free was decided and quickly as the duty free maize and sugar. Came into effect just days ahead of the shipments coming to ports. Peace.
You know something is wrong when the basic food items like Maize flour, Rice, Milk and Sugar are going up in Kenya. This has happen during the term of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President Willam Ruto, the Jubilee Coalition. That the President takes so easily on it during the campaigns, proves that he has forgotten the common plight. This isn’t just a drought that brought the higher prices, there is systemic defaults that the government has to be concerned about. Therefore, the President coming out and saying this!
“In his speech the President also criticised the opposition, which he described as a coalition crafted to get job for its four leading figures. He described the leader of the opposition as “a man who does not know how to solve problems but only knows how to talk about problems”. The Head of State said the Government is working on an appropriate plan to deal with the rising cost of maize flour. He revealed that Parliament will be recalled soon to come up with legislations to deal with the issue of food prices. “We have been quiet about this issue but we have been working on a plan and soon Parliament will resume soon and it will come up with a lasting solution,” said the President” (The Presidency, 2017).
That he says the Opposition only talks about it, it is him who has the power and have the majority government. President Kenyatta has had all the possible time to create and make sure the citizens and businesses could thrive. Instead their been years of problems for Mumias, corruption scandals and in general not the sort economic policies that the Kenyan people or businesses needs. Therefore, the news of 10 coastal hotels closed in the recent months. The higher prices on electricity and other basic food items. Proves that the government has not facilitated it for citizens.
This can be proven with the added debt and deficit that the Kenyan government has risen. That the loans have been misspent as well as corruption scandals, which has proven that it isn’t only the Port of Mombasa where it is, but the central government has certainly their mismanagement. There been chickens inside the IEBC, NYS Scandal, JKIA, and so many others.
“Inflation in the month of Aril has been reported to have increased to a record high of 11.48 percent. This was as a result of the ongoing drought that has hit most parts of the country and therefore forcing commodities to increase in prices so as to reach the markets set target” (Shawiza, 2017).
Just as Barclays has spelled gloom over the Kenyan economy, because the President cannot like going into a tight and highly anticipated campaign when the state struggles with this:
“In various supermarkets around major towns, shoppers are being met by empty shelves. Those who spoke to Nation lamented that the increased prices had hit them hard, forcing them to forego some meals in the day, especially to save for school fees. In a country where maize remains a staple food, the price increase has left many households suffering. Even with the government intervention, the prices of a 90kg bag of dry maize is still high at Sh5,200 in Kisumu, Sh4,700 in Mombasa and Sh4,500 in Nairobi” (Daily Nation, 2017).
There we’re reasons for this, since the rise of prices doesn’t come in vacuum, the President and his government knows that, but has stayed ignorant, because they seem to confident that they will be in-charge after the coming election. Therefore, he should trade the waters more careful, unless the Jubilee is rigging it. However, the prices are hurting the citizens and the people who are supposed to support the party.
They have already struggled with months of uncertainty with the IEBC and the Doctors strike as they both have proven the systemic problems inside the republic. This is something that the Jubilee government has festered and not cleared the shop. Instead of building trust, they have tried to stop it like they detained doctors, they tried to silence the demonstrations against the corrupt IEBC board.
So with the rising state debt, the rising prices on food stuffs and the mismanagement of government funds. That the Jubilee attacks the NASA for their deals is the only good thing they have, but it is not sustainable as their own are awarded. So I cannot believe in that, that the NASA only favors and give jobs to their own. There are similarities there, but the Jubilee shouldn’t complain about giving favors, when they have built their own system doing so. Also, giving credits and envelopes to smaller parties for their support!
President Kenyatta should not for populism, but for the concern of the issues of the higher prices on the basic foods. Since this affects all citizens and their pockets, as well as stores and shops are getting empty on the shelf’s, not only Nakumatt who has struggled for months, but also others. Therefore, the are grand issues in the economy, if it wasn’t so than the banks like Kenya Chase Bank Limited taken control by the Central Bank of Kenya. If all of this issues are not handled, together this all proves there are governance structures and policies who needs changes. Since the state are clearly forgetting their sole purpose to facilitate life for their citizens, not secure wealth for the elite. Therefore, the Jubilee, has to prove they really care, as the inflation and debt ratio is rising to levels that the President should anticipate. Not try to control after it hit the fan! Peace.
This happens in the same time period that Gado the cartoonist at Daily Nation has been under fire for his cartoons of Kenyatta and later was finally sacked for a cartoon mocking President Museveni. So there were already issues between editorial freedom and the government control of media in Kenya under President Kenyatta, as this story will show.
Denis Galava the former editor Daily Nation who got fired for speaking up towards the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. This here is outtakes from his affidavit and is interesting as he was fired or sacked in the end of January 2016. The gaging of Kenyan Media comes to the surface and makes an impression!
Problems of November 2015:
“Earlier in November, the Editor-In-Chief called me to his office for what I presumed was a routine discussion on the investigation docket. We had lined up stories on Eurobond, Jubilie’s Mega Scandal, the death of the manufacturing sector and the collapse of the coffee sector. While not disagreeing with the merit of the stories, he said timing was tricky. For that the Aga Khan was scheduled to visit Kenya in December 2015 as a State guest and the presidency accused the Nation of malice for interesting scandals in government” (…)”Mr. Mshindi also asked me to ask popular Saturday Nation columnist David Ndii to stop writing about Eurobond and NYS Scandal because of his provocative analyses had angered the government and cost the company business. I out rejected the proposal, saying the columnist had struck in the letter and spirit contract of his contract and the reputational damage of us gauging him was not worth the risk” (…)”And the Editor-In-Chief, instead of defending our editorial independence, had chosen to gag us” (…)”My experience with the senior editors and we concluded that the Editor-In-Chief had privilege political sensitivities and personal biases over good journalism”.
How it all started:
“Completed the Editorial at 05:30pm and alerted the acting editor of Saturday Nation to revise it. He told me it was hard-hitting, but truthful. Since the paper was in the midst of a staffing crisis, I also took on a few other tasks that evening – editing the special reports section and ‘Page one’. I left shortly thereafter for the night” (…)”Woke up on Saturday morning to a social media fest over the editorial” (…)”Around midday, the Group Managing Editor (GME) Weekend editions called saying the editorial was hard hitting but objective. He received many calls, most compelling the Nation for finally speaking truth of power and a few from State House officials saying that the editorial was a declaration of war against the president”.
This continued with reactions from the State house:
“It also learnt that there had been a call from a senior State House official later that afternoon which was to be the first rumble the thunder in the brewing storm. The official asked why the Nation was ambushing the President in the New Year. He said the President was angered by the Editorial and intended to take it up with the Nation’s founder, the Aga Khan, who had been a state guest at the 12. December 2015, Jamhuri Day celebrations”.
Calls on Sunday:
“the calls had become more frantic in tone. I learned from the GME Weekend Eric Obino that the Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi had called him from India saying the government had threatened serious sanctions over the editorial. That NGM board chairman Wilfred Kiboro and called and also written to the CEO Joe Muganda and Mr. Mshindi demanding immediate action to appease the government. Matters were complicated by the fact that for three years, the Nation board and the local Aga Khan network had been trying to reach out to State House in vain”.
“The Acting Saturday Nation editor Kariuki Waihenya and GME Weekend informants told me they had received emails from the editor in chief asking them to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against them over the publication of the editorial”
On Thursday – 5th January
“That morning, the HR director returned from leave for a conference call with the Editor-in-Chief, who was in India, and two Group Managing Editors for Weekend and daily editions (Mr. Obino and Mutuma Mathiu, respectively). After the discussion, the acting editor for Sunday Nation was given a first warning letter over the editorial, while his Sunday counterpart was also cautioned over the cartoon published on the January 3 that infuriated State House”
Later on the same day after picking up and taking his niece to school he got a call:
“the GME Weekend editions called asking me to join him at the responding to mounting fury, added to the prevailing bewilderment. According to his statement expressing the official position of the paper, I had not been suspended but rather advised to stay away for a few days”
On Friday – 6th January:
“the BBC interviewed Mr. Muganda over my suspension. Mr. Muganda said I been suspended for not following procedure in writing the editorial and went ahead to compare me to a bank teller who steal cash”.
On Thursday – 14th January:
“the HR Manager in charge of editorial Ms Jane Mkituri(Not sure) called me to invite me for a disciplinary hearing at 2pm on January 18. She also invited me to respond in writing to the issues raised in my suspension letter”.
On 18th January:
“In my response letter dated January 18, I protested that the procedures and guidelines referred to in the suspension letter were communicated to me for the first time in the suspension letter” (…)”While I had in the past either written or authorized editorials based on my judgement, the issue of procedure had never come up”.
Reaction to the letter:
“I was surprised to learn that two hours after submitting my response stating from there were no written procedures for editorial writing, the Editor-in-Chief issued – for the first time – comprehensive guidelines and timelines for writing editorials”.
On the disciplinary hearing:
“I was surprised that I had to defend myself to the very people who has accused me and suspended me unheard – the Editor-in-Chief, GME Weekend, HR Director and Company Secretary (Mr. Joseph Kinyua). I had expected a different, independent panel compromising at least one peer and individuals unrelated to the suspension the law states” (…)”The hearing turned out to be more of a dialogue of the deaf than even my initial cynicism anticipated” (…)”Every question started and ended with the word procedure, with an occasional dose of “disrespecting the presidency and endangering company business”. In 58 minutes, the duration of the hearing, I repeated 17 times that I not flouted procedure since, in actuality, there was no procedure to flout”.
The answer on the matter at the hearing:
“A panelist offered that he would be more cautious if he were in my shoes. Here I stood, he added, both having upset Kenya’s President and the Aga Khan, and risked the business of the paper, and yet here I also stood seeking justification rather than groveling for mercy”.
Continued part of the hearing:
“I explained that this section spoke of content and not procedure. None of the panelists cared to listen to me” (…)”Pushing the file I had given him aside, the Editor-In-Chief said I had hurt him, the tone of the editorial was disrespectful and it was risked the company business. The Company Secretary weighted in with similar comments, adding that this was the most disrespectful article on the presidency he had ever read and that I should be apologizing instead of defending the indefensible”.
Later on the 20th January:
“About 10am on Wednesday, January 20, the HR Director called and asked me to see him in the office at 4pm. He gave me the termination letter for “willful disobedience of the covenants and laid down process and procedures”. I protested this was unfair because in whole of my career at Nation”.
Together with the Gado sacking and this story of how the Editor-In-Chief dedicated the stories and silenced the newspaper and their columnist to fit the State House,is a worrying sign when we think about the up-coming elections in 2017.
That the media have to worry about writing articles to step on their toes and not be able to make stories that they can cover, as the President and his advisor will call the Nations Editor-In-Chief or CEO. As the State House want the investment from the Aga Khan and the State House want to look decent, and not have the story of corruption or scandals out! Peace.