In Summary
  • The Sh90, two-kilogramme packets were yet to arrive in some major supermarkets and in a number of towns.
  • In Nairobi, Tuskys supermarket outlets started running out of the commodity in early afternoon due to the high demand.
  • Nakumatt outlets did not have the flour for the better part of the day, but in the afternoon officials announced via Twitter that they had received supplies.
  • In Nairobi, there were long queues at the stores that had the maize flour in the morning.

Kenyans in different parts of the country went into panic buying on Wednesday as the first batch of government-subsidised maize flour hit shop shelves.

However, for the better part of the morning and early afternoon, the Sh90, two-kilogramme packets were yet to arrive in some major supermarkets and in a number of towns.

In Nairobi, Tuskys supermarket outlets, which appeared to be the only ones well-stocked with the cheap flour in the morning, started running out of the commodity in early afternoon due to the high demand.

Nakumatt outlets did not have the flour for the better part of the day, but in the afternoon officials announced via Twitter that they had received supplies.

Sensing the desperation and restlessness, millers assured consumers that the flour would be available in all stores and supermarkets in major towns, and attributed the poor supply to logistics.

ADJUST DISTRIBUTION SCHEDULES

“Some of our members have had to adjust their distribution schedules to take the contractual obligations between our members and particular supermarkets,” chairman of the millers association, Nick Hutchinson, said in a statement.

“We would like to clarify that the lack of maize flour in some retail chains does not in any way reflect a lack of maize flour in the country.”

Mr Hutchinson said millers expected the cheap flour to reach other stores by tomorrow, and in small shops and supermarkets upcountry by Sunday.

In Nairobi, there were long queues at the stores that had the maize flour in the morning.

TAKE ORDERS

Mr Moses Mwangi, a manager at EastMatt supermarket, said retailers had rushed to make their orders with the millers.

“As a result,” he explained, “those of us who made our orders late have been pushed behind the queue, so we’re still waiting for deliveries.”

The chain only had old stock of the commodity and was selling the Oryx brand at Sh135 and Hostess at Sh189.

Customers pick the Sh90 maize flour at Samrat supermarket in Nyeri on May 17, 2017.

Customers pick the Sh90 maize flour at Samrat supermarket in Nyeri on May 17, 2017. The shoppers were picking many packets for their families as they feared that the supermarket might run out of stock. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Tuskys, the only supermarket in the CBD that stocked the Soko brand, had to restrict the number of packets each customer could buy.

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