Nothing exposes the world of Jubilee corruption like the almost instant importation of shiploads of maize just days after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) published a notice setting the rules for importation of duty-free yellow and white maize intended to plug the huge deficit in the domestic market.
The story however doesn’t start here.Ahead of August elections, with a sensitive NIS Report (whose leakage is the subject of thorough internal investigations at the spy agency with at least five personnel suspected summarily fired) revealing Jubilee must either ‘buy’ the election or prepare for defeat, Jubilee decided to buy the election.
In government, apart from Kenya Pipeline Corporation, no other sector makes quick money and in billions like price interference of basic commodities. Jubilee picked on Unga and Sugar. Let’s dissect how the strategy worked on Unga.
MV Pinehurst, a Philippine registered ship carrying up to 30,000 metric tonnes of maize sourced from Mexico docked at the Mombasa port on Thursday 11th May 2017 exactly a week after KRA opened the window for duty-free maize imports.
The move by KRA was ostensibly aimed at stemming the ‘biting shortage’ that has seen the price of unga maize meal nearly double in the past eight months.
Another 30,000 metric tonnes is reportedly in the high seas with the vessel expected to dock in Mombasa on or about 26th May 2017.
MarineTraffic.com, an open reliable online portal that provides real-time data on the movements of ships and their current location in harbours and ports all over the world shows that MV Pinehurst departed Durban Port in South Africa the same day that the KRA Commissioner of Customs and Border Control Julius Musyoki published a notice lifting ban on importation of maize.
Was this a coincidence? No it wasn’t.
Maize importation is big business and the topmost baron is Deputy President William Ruto. Do you remember the ‘maize scandal’ that led to the sacking of Ruto by Raila during the tumultuous era of the grand coalition government?
A kilo of maize is going for approximately Ksh40 at Nyamakima Nairobi. MV Pinehurst is carrying 30,000,000 (yes, thirty million odd kilos of maize!!). The kill is mind boggling.
In this case, because of the desperation brought on by the artificial shortage, the seller dictates the buying price which could go as high as Ksh80 per kilo, plus handling and transport to NPCB stores which can easily take the price to Ksh100 per kilo. It has not been milled and packed so as to reach your local shop.
The movement of MV Pinehurst tells you the kind of state capture and abuse of systems under President Uhuru’s watch. Here, we see a president who has turned his gaze the other way as Kenyans pay the price of Jubilee unscrupulous wheeler dealers, insider traders, international conmen, ghost suppliers, cowboy contractors, tax evaders and thieves of all shades who have high powered connections to State House, the Office of the President, Treasury, KRA, KPA and at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries.
Ordinarily, it takes an average of 12-15 weeks of transit time for a modern shipping vessel laden with cargo to sail from any of the numerous Ports in Mexico to Mombasa in Kenya.
This means MV Pinehurst left Mexico sometime earlier this year giving Jubilee wheeler-dealers enough time to create an artificial maize shortage, trigger price increases and then move-in with their imports to make a killing and raise instant billions for political campaigns ahead of the grueling 2017 general elections.
Either that, or the maize was sourced from South Africa and documentation switched in the high seas to change country of origin. In both cases, tax payer and Ugali eaters bear the extra costs. The spiral effect to the economy does not matter.