By Shirley Wandera & Linda Wamaitha
It has been 3 weeks and the fuel shortage crisis seem to not come to an end. Long queues are still being witnessed in various parts across the country despite the government interventions.
On April 4, the President signed into law five parliamentary bills among which was the 2022 parliamentary budget. A sum of Sh.34.4 billion, from the supplementary budget had been allocated to the government fuel stabilization program. Oil marketers received this amount as subsidy to cushion Kenyans from high fuel costs.
This was later followed by the Energy and Petroleum CS, Monica Juma, assuring Kenyans that there was enough fuel in the country while receiving 100 million litres of petrol at the Port of Mombasa.
Speaking during an interview last week, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Petroleum, Mr. Andrew Kamau attributed the shortage to panic buying. But is this so?
Despite oil marketers receiving subsidy arears, what could be the cause of scarcity of fuel in the country?
In addition to all this, according to the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), it is working on its monthly review and new fuel prices are expected, this week.
Mombasa residents decry the increased fuel prices.
True to their word, the EPRA director general, Daniel Kiptoo promptly announced an increase in fuel prices by Sh.9.90 amid the shortage in the country.
The cost of petrol in Mombasa will retail at Sh.142.36 while that of diesel and kerosene will be Sh.123.26 and Sh.114.16 respectively effective 15th April until 14th May 2022.
Motorists have continued to decry over the news with Mombasa tuk-tuk operator Dickson Ngala lamenting that “Fuel prices are increasing while as they are saying there is more than enough fuel. The government should find a solution to this problem because fares will also increase, but passengers are not willing to pay more.”
As this unfolds, CS Juma warned companies against hoarding the commodity, stating “Those companies who sold above their normal quota during the crisis will benefit from additional capacity, while those who sold less will have their respective capacities reduced.”