Retailers Selling subsidised Four at a higher price in Kenya

A trader from Molo town was arraigned in court after he was arrested selling subsidised maize flour at a higher price.

Joseph Gachoka Kariuki, the proprietor of DNN Supermarket, was arrested on June 4 for selling a 2kg packet of flour at Sh100 instead of the recommended Sh90.

Two days ago, four more people were arrested in Malindi for selling the subsidised flour at Sh120.

Appearing before Senior Resident Magistrate Rita Amwayi, Mr Kariuki pleaded guilty and was slapped with a Sh10,000 fine or three months in jail.

“The court hereby finds you guilty of going against the Kenya Gazette Supplement number 74 based on powers bestowed to it under the Price Control Act, 2011 on essential goods,” ruled the magistrate.

Upon his release, Kariuki said he regretted dealing in the product, which he said doesn’t profit retailers.

“A bale with a dozen packets goes for Sh1,070 wholesale price, which means the price per packet is Sh89.16, yet we are expected to sell it at Sh90. When we do our math as retailers, this is a loss-making business,” said Kariuki.

He said to sustain the supply, retailers have to factor in transport, packaging among other charges incurred until the product reaches the final consumer, a move that the Government has outlawed.

“When we consider all the costs borne by a retailer from the wholesaler to their premises it adds to Sh96.16 per packet. Selling at the set price is unsustainable as the trade is eating into profits made from sale of other products,” he added.

Molo Business Association chairman, Charles Marioko, called on the Government to review the agreement with the manufacturers to ensure traders’ goodwill to supply the product at a cheap price is not taken for granted.

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