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Food prices triple in Mombasa ahead of Tuesday polls

Beans, maize, and vegetables are selling like hot cakes as people prepare for polls. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Beans, maize, and vegetables are selling like hot cakes as people prepare for polls. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Prices of food in Mombasa have risen ahead of Tuesday’s elections.

A spot check at Kongowea market revealed that prices of all foodstuff had tripled. The traders said that the increase is as a result of high demand.

“We are also buying foods at a very expensive price from farmers. But the prices have soared due to the demand for products such as cabbage, tomatoes, onions and potatoes because people are stocking up enough food,” Ms Jane Wangari, who sells cabbages, said.

A kilogramme of tomato goes for Sh200 up from Sh80 while the same quantity of onions is selling at Sh150 up from Sh50.

Traders also observed that some people are hoarding food in order to sell at a higher price.

“They are creating unnecessary shortage of food but there is plenty in the store.

“They want to take advantage of the electioneering tension to overprice foodstuffs,” another trader at the market said.

Some of the foods in demand are beans, maize, green grams, and vegetables (kales, tomatoes, spinach and cabbages).

“I bought one large cabbage at Sh200. That’s very expensive, before it used to sell at Sh80.

“I am stocking up enough food for my family due to the elections in case of any eventuality,” Mr Martin Kaveke, a Changamwe resident said.  Mr Kaveke said he bought rice, bundles of maize and wheat flour.

Mr Richard Chacha, the county communications director, said the market would remain open during the August 8 polls.  

“Residents are rushing to stock up, it is a fact because they are not sure what will happen after elections.  

“Even supermarkets are full. But Kongowea will not been closed, county askaris will also be working as usual,” Mr Chacha added.

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