Maize Millers Slap Ruto With Ksh 2.5B Bill on Subsidy Issued by Uhuru Govt

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and his successor, William Ruto (left).

President William Ruto has been slapped with a Ksh2.5 billion bill following the maize subsidy issued under former President Uhuru Kenyatta's government.

In a statement dated Monday, February 20, the Cereal Millers Association (CMA) claimed that the government had not completed the payment of Ksh4.5 billion owed to millers.

The money was meant to pay the cost deficit after Uhuru capped the sale of a 2-kilogram packet of maize flour at Ksh100 to cushion Kenyans from high prices.

"Consequently, CMA millers sold flour worth Ksh4.3 billion. Only Ksh1.7 billion was paid leaving an outstanding balance of Ksh2.5 billion," the statement read in part.

President William Ruto speaking during inspection of the Bondeni Affordable Housing Project in Nakuru County on February 13, 2023.
President William Ruto speaking during the inspection of the Bondeni Affordable Housing Project in Nakuru County on February 13, 2023.
William Ruto

The millers revealed that it had shared the claims with the National Treasury and warned of a food crisis if the money is not paid to millers.

"We urge the government to pay millers their outstanding amounts, to enable them to buy adequate quantities of raw material to ensure food security during these difficult climatic and economic times," CMA wrote.

The Association maintained that the claims were genuine, maintaining that a multi-agency team established to oversee the process approved 27 millers to supply subsidised maize flour.

"The Command Centre received, audited, and processed 1,027 invoices from the CMA millers, validating their accuracy and completeness. Errors were communicated to the millers and collaborated with them for correction," the statement explained.

CMA explained that at the time, a government official was stationed in each miller to ensure that only supplied goods were paid for.

Uhuru's government set aside Ksh8 billion for the subsidy programme, with Treasury depositing Ksh4 billion in an account exclusively created for the course.

However, when Ruto took over power in September 2022, his first cause of action was to do away with subsidies issued under his predecessor's term.

This left most businesses that entered into deals with the government in limbo, with some raising concerns about whether they would be paid.

Maize flour stocked at a supermarket in Kenya
Maize flour stocked at a supermarket in Kenya.