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Coronavirus: Uhuru warns traders exploiting Kenyans

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday warned that the government would take action against traders hiking prices of commodities to take advantage of demand created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The president was speaking at State House, Nairobi during a meeting with the banking sector. The president said it was a crime to use the unfortunate situation to increase price.

“It is immoral to take advantage of a situation like this to enrich yourself, we are monitoring each sector and action will be taken against those found guilty. We need to pull together as Kenyans to overcome the health crisis and the associated issues that are most likely to develop,” the president said.

On Sunday, President Kenyatta, during a press conference outside his Harambee House office, also warned traders not to take advantage of the coronavirus situation to hike prices.

The warning comes in the wake of sharp demand for essential consumer goods with prices also going up soon after the government announced the first case of coronavirus in Kenya on March 13, 2020.

Panic-buying in supermarkets

This saw the Competition Authority of Kenya issue a stern warning to manufacturers and retailers against hiking the prices of goods in response to panic-buying in supermarkets and other outlets.

On Monday, CAK ordered Cleanshelf Supermarkets to contact all customers who purchased Tropical brand hand sanitisers and refund them within the next 10 days after it was established it retailed at Sh800 and was increased to Sh1,000.

Last week, CAK warned traders against hiking prices on commodities, saying that failure to comply would attract a penalty.

On Tuesday, two workers of a dermatology clinic at Yaya Centre were charged with making a misleading advert informing Kenyans that they were selling coronavirus testing kits.

Dr Pravan Mahendra Pancholi and Sylvia Ndinda Kaleve denied the charges and were released on a cash bail of Sh150,000 each.

On Monday, police raided the clinic for allegedly selling fake coronavirus testing kits at Sh3,000.