Azimio la Umoja Principal Martha Karua on Tuesday, May, alleged that the new unga brands that are being sold at slightly lower prices in the market are genetically modified.
Speaking at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation, Karua alleged that the cost of unga was yet to go down as promised by President William Ruto, which was one of Azimio’s demands in exchange for calling off the protests.
She further claimed that a section of local millers had refused to sell the product as a matter of principle, hence the disparity in sellers of cheap flour.
“The cost of unga has not gone down. The new unga brands retailing at slightly lower prices than the older familiar brands are GMO maize. A number of millers have declined to mill that maize and sell it to Kenyans as a matter of principle,” she revealed.
She did not, however, provide evidence regarding the genetically modified composition of the cheap maize flour, coming a day after President Ruto clarified the availability of cheap maize flour in the Kenyan market after several Kenyans raised questions on not finding the reduced cost of unga as promised, especially in supermarkets.
He explained that various brands were selling their unga at the cheapest price in the market while others were selling theirs at Ksh200 or more, leaving Kenyans with a right to choose from a wide range of brands, depending on their budget.
“There is maize flour costing 200, other brands go for 180 while the cheapest goes for Ksh158, this gives the consumer an opportunity to choose what suits them,” Ruto explained at the Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi during the 58th Labour Day Celebrations.
A majority of Kenyans had claimed that they were yet to see cheap maize flour across various shops. In addition, leaders allied to the Azimio la Umoja coalition had been criticising the government for misleading Kenyans over the cheap cost of maize flour as most brands had still retained their prices to Ksh200 and above.
During the same address, Martha Karua also faulted the wirhdrawal of her securilty as well as that of Mama Ida Odinga by thr Government, alleging that the exercise took place on the night before the protests, seemingly countering an earlier announcement of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party which did not announce when the withdrawal actually happened.
“Last night, Azimio leaders, including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, had their security withdrawn. This is significant because those two offices are guaranteed security by an act of Parliament, it is not gratuitous, so this is illegal. All members of parliament from Azimio who actively support this course had also their security withdrawn,” Karua claimed.
She also expressed her strong feeling of immorality and criminality for government appointments to be allocated to a specific community in a country of close to 50 communities.
At the same time, Karua announced that the protests would resume on Thursday, May 4, accusing the Kenya Kwanza administration of instructing the police to disrupt their protests, which they claimed were peaceful.
“At the break of dawn, police got stations in all parts of Nairobi Metropolis and city centre to prevent us from proceeding with our peaceful protests as planned. Unfortunately, because of the mayhem, we were not able to present the petitions to the four offices. Despite these developments, we are energised that Kenyans are determined to claim their country. We march on. Tomorrow, we take a break to strategise and recharge. Our protests will resume on Thursday, May 4. Same meeting, same office and same people,” she added.
The Azimio procession had planned to deliver the petitions to the Office of the President, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the National Treasury, and the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Their attempts to reach the offices were halted by a contingent of heavy security deployed in the Central Business District (CBD), with lawmakers from Azimio going the closest to the office of the President at Harambee House to present their petitions before they were teargassed.