The Chronology of Ugali Politics & Profits in Kenya

One: Create artificial scarcity of maize via mismanagement of national maize stocks at National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). “Auditor General’s report on the Ministry of Agriculture for 2014/2015 says about one million bags of maize went to waste following NCPB’s laxity in tackling an insect attack.” 1 million bags. Insect attack. Weevils.

Two: Worsen scarcity by nurturing greedy cartels who wipe off maize from the hands of farmers at X shillings and sell it to commercial millers at 3X.

Three: Steal the hundreds of billions you set aside for legacy agricultural programmes aka one million-acre Galana-Kulalu Irrigation Scheme, and others.

Four: Three months earlier, remove all taxes on maize and wheat importation – “In order to make these commodities affordable for the common mwananchi, I propose to zero-rate bread and maize flour to remove VAT altogether.” Smile as Kenyans celebrate expecting a reduction in the price of maize flour…. ”

Five: Feign shock that prices did not drop even after cutting the taxes. Pretend to be helpless as citizens suffer from abnormally high prices of maize flour.

Six: Close yourself in a room with a drink and laugh your ass off as supermarket shelves empty and families go without proper meals because their staple food is out of reach.

Seven: Organize a press conference and smile your way through it explaining to Kenyans the cause of the scarcity and high costs of basic goods. Don’t forget to blame the high prices on climate change and global warming. You can even blame farmers.

Eight: Pretend to be asking the Parliament to do something about it, but even before they discuss it …

Nine: out of nowhere, a huge cargo ship docks at Mombasa Port with 30,000 tonnes of maize. Promise Kenyans that another ship is in the high seas with thousands of tonnes of maize. But who is importing? Who is this faceless saviour?

Ten: Go to church on Sunday and thank God for the huge profitability of Ugali politics.

And that my friend is the chronology of ugali politics, re-acted yet another time.


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