On March 9, 2023, United Grain Millers association expressed concern over delayed payment for supplying affordable unga under the subsidy programme during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government, which may result in higher prices for consumers.
The Chairperson, Ken Nyaga, warned that small-scale millers were at risk of closure due to financial constraints, with some already having shut down or slowed operations.
He also highlighted that most millers were operating through loans and now exposed to the risk of being auctioned by banks and other lenders.
The high prices of maize further complicated the situation in the Kenyan market, and efforts to reduce unga prices would have to wait longer if the government did not de-escalate the situation.
In early March 2023, the National Assembly declined to approve payment of over Ksh2.9 billion arrears owed to the millers, citing non-disclosure of the exact quantity of maize flour supplied, but a section of millers maintained that the supply records were audited by the Kenya Revenue Authority.
MPs also questioned the non-disclosure of the retail stores used to supply the subsidised unga to Kenyan consumers and requested an audit of the records of the subsidy programme by the Auditor General to shed more light on obscure records.