The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Prices Hiked for Books, Uniforms

Parents doing their children's back to school shopping have complained about hiked prices of books and uniforms. Schools will reopen on Monday.

However, bookshop owners have blamed the increased prices of books and uniforms to VAT. Ruth Wamugo said she had budgeted for her daughter Maria Wanjohi, a Standard One pupil at Loreto Msongari.

"As parents, we have learned to budget earlier. I did most of the shopping before the festive season and now I am buying the final things," Wamugo said.

Wamugo was buying books for her daughter at the Text book center in Sarit center and complained that the prices had gone high.

Patel Barak from the text book centre said that they expect more people to shop for books before schools open. At the Bata shoe shop in Sarit centre, Rose Mwangangi a cashier said that they have enough stoke for back to school.

She however complained that VAT had pushed shoe prices up by kshs 100 and that most parents buying shoes for their children were complaining.

In uniform shops, there were long queues with parent s helping their children get the right sizes for themselves. At Haria Uniforms in Westlands, there was a long queue with one Ken Thogo helping Ted Thogo his class five pupil at St John Matasia fit into a uniform.

"I was prepared for January. I never wanted to be caught offgurd. I did shopping for school in early December and I am simply buying the remaining few items. However, I am shocked because the prices are high,"said Ken Thogo.

Another parent Alfred Ndambiri who is a dad to Brian Kariuki a form 2 student at St Marys Nairobi said that the government should consider lowering the prices of comodities like books and uniforms.

He said despite doing shopping on 31st December, he was still feeling the pinch of having to spend more money since the prices were high.

Despite the high prices , the Savanis bookstore through a sister company Educate Yourself limited said that they have slightly reduced the prices of books on their shelves.

"We have a special voucher and are working with schools to give discounts to parents who purchase books in our stores. This will go a long way in helping them save some little money," said Faiz Abdul of Savanis.

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