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Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa has slammed the government for encouraging business monopolies which he says pose a big threat to economic growth.

In what appeared like a veiled attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family untrammeled expansion in milk business, Ichung’wa said the government must encourage competitive policies for economic take off.

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He wrote:

“MONOPOLIES are the biggest THREAT to any country’s economy across all sectors of the economy. The government must encourage COMPETITIVE business policies for our economy to grow, just like competitive politics enhances our democracy.”

In the milk sector, the Kenyatta family has in the last 10 years increased its market share to 44% establishing the company’s market leadership position.

Through its parent company, Brookside Dairies, the family has bought out Ilara, Delamere, SpinKnit (processors of Tuzo milk brand) and Buzeki Dairy (makers of Molo Milk and Kilifi Gold) making some analysts to conclude it has effectively become a monopoly.

On Tuesday, January 15, President Uhuru directed the national Treasury to release KSh 1 billion to the milk sector.

Addressing the nation from State House, Mombasa, the President noted milk farmers are receiving low prices for their milk due to cartels who have taken over the sector.

He said smuggled milk from other countries find its way into the market, making local farmers to sell their product at throw away price.

Uhuru also directed Treasury to release KSh 500 million to the new KCC, money which will be used to purchase excess milk from farmers and convert it into powder.

He further directed the National Treasury to release KSh 575 million to new KCC for the two milk plants located in the Mt Kenya region.

“I have directed the National Treasury to release a further KSh 575 million to New KCC for two milk plants, one in Nyeri and one in Nyahururu, to enhance their processing capacity,” said the president.

Farmers in the Mt Kenya region have in the past few months lamented poor price with a litre of milk going for as low as KSh 16.

Ichung’wa’s remarks came hours after sacking of Mwangi Kiunjuri as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary.

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