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Gov’t clarifies on increasing cost of living

The government has associated the rising cost of living to the impact of a global phenomenon beyond the national boundaries and revealed measures instituted to bring down the prices of basic commodities.

Speaking in Tharaka Nithi County during a live radio interview on a local FM station, Government Spokesman, Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna, disclosed that the rising cost of commodities is a result of a combination of factors that have faced the world in the recent past.

Oguna while speaking at Mwendantu FM on Thursday and later to the youth in Chuka town, described the recent locust invasion, the ongoing droughts, the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the factors driving the rising prices.

“Most of us are aware of the recent locust invasion that destroyed crops in many counties within our republic including Tharaka Nithi.”  Paused Oguna.

He said the coronavirus pandemic crippled our tourism sector that has been a major source of foreign exchange for the country and hence further weakening the country’s importation power adding that with the war between Russia and Ukraine, most of the wheat is now sourced from North and South America that are geographically far off further increasing cost.

Oguna said much of the vegetable oil consumed in the country is also manufactured from sunflower that is cultivated in the war torn countries where, most of our crude oil is imported from hence, the increase in vegetable oil, soap and other petroleum products.

He revealed that the government has waived tax levied on imported maize from COMESA countries, besides giving a 10 per cent subsidy on fuel to bring down the prices of basic commodities especially maize flour that is consumed by majority households in Kenya.

The Spokesman further revealed that the government has been bailing out hotels in most tourist destinations in the country that have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic that left most of them relying on domestic tourism.

Oguna called on both the youth and the audience to be good ambassadors in their villages in educating others that the rising cost of commodities has nothing to do with the President or the Handshake as it has been peddled by some politicians.

Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner Nobert Komora assured the government spokesman that the beneficiaries of ‘Kazi Mtaani’ have been ambassadors to their villages and called on the youth to make good choices while electing leaders in the forthcoming General Election.

By David Mutwiri

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