Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has maintained that the government will not pay millers seeking to exploit the state over the subsidy that capped maize flour prices at Ksh100 per two-kilogramme packet.
Speaking to NTV on Sunday, September 18, Gachagua revealed that the government had inherited a Ksh8 billion worth of pending bills from former President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration, meant for the subsidy that ended in August.
According to the DP, some of the millers and suppliers took advantage of the transition period and colluded with state officials to try and swindle taxpayers' money.
"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.
The DP disclosed that officers had been instructed to scrutinize the invoices submitted and compare them with the supplies made to retailers before remitting payments. He further sounded a warning to all those who tried to con the state.
"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 vowed.
The country's second in command, continued his attacks on President William Ruto's predecessor, faulting Uhuru for taking advantage of the food crisis to campaign for his preferred candidate - Azimio flagbearer, Raila Odinga.
He supported President Ruto's decision to do away with the subsidies, stating that they only offered a temporary solution to the problem. Gachagua asked Kenyans to be patient and consider the long-term effects.
"We are looking for a permanent and sustainable solution. It would have been deceptive to Kenyans t 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.
His sentiments come amid pressure from the public to tame the high prices of maize flour. Kenyans are also confronting the high cost of fuel following an upward review of pump prices by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
The spike in the cost of fuel has a ripple effect on the prices of other essential commodities and services. Nonetheless, Kandara MP Alice Wahome defended the head of state, explaining that it was nearly impossible to continue with the subsidies.