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No, Kenya's Quickmart supermarket did not issue a statement calling the drop in prices of basic goods misleading

IN SHORT: Quickmart supermarket has distanced itself from a fabricated statement circulating on social media in Kenya. The statement said the government's claim of a significant drop in prices of basic commodities was misleading.

On 9 November 2023 Kenya’s president William Ruto delivered his second state of the nation address amid tough economic conditions across the country. 

In the speech he said: “Today a 2kg [kilogram] packet of maize flour is selling at a low of KSh145 and a high of KSh175 depending on the brand you buy.” 

Ruto has been under pressure to reduce the cost of living

However, a spotcheck the following day by Citizen TV, Kenya’s most watched TV station, revealed that these prices did not apply across the country as the president claimed. 

On 24 November, agriculture minister Mithika Linturi visited various supermarkets to monitor the price of maize flour across the country. He said: “I’m happy to note that in all the major supermarkets, the unga [maize flour] prices have reduced from a high of KSh235 last year to a low of up to KSh130 per 2 kg packet.” 

However, when Citizen TV did another price comparison, it found that Linturi’s figures were based on maize flour that was on sale at Quickmart supermarkets. To avoid wastage, retailers often mark down the prices of fast-moving items close to their expiry dates. 

On 27 November, what appears to be a statement from Quickmart, titled “Misleading Use of Quickmart promotion Campaigns”, began to circulate on social media.

It reads, in part: “The company would like to clarify that the prices displayed on various items under promotion are greatly discounted. Therefore, using these prices only as the basis to launch a claim of a significant drop in cost of basic goods like maize flour in the country may be misleading.”

The document was also circulated here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But did the major retailer really make this politically sensitive statement? We checked.


Beware of misinformation

On 27 November Quickmart posted the statement on its social media pages, with the word “fake” printed in red.

“Beware of misinformation! The above message is FALSE and should be IGNORED. Follow our official pages @quickmartkenya (Facebook, Instagram & X) for authentic information regarding Quickmart,” reads their post on X.

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