Calls for mass protests over fuel price hikes

Kenyans have threatened massive protests over the high fuel prices.

Many continued to express their anger and took to social media under the trending hashtags #FuelPrices #Protest4OurRights to call for nationwide protests.

Several leaders have also condemned the price increase. According to ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, the move will ultimately lead to an increase in the cost of production and transportation for ordinary Kenyans and businesses.

“This increase is baffling because it is coming at a time when the landed cost of fuel in the country has reduced significantly. It is not a reflection of the international price,” Mudavadi said.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) increased the fuel pump prices effective Wednesday by more than Ksh7, with Super Petrol, Diesel, and Kerosene now retailing at Ksh134.72, Ksh115.60, and Ksh110.82 per litre respectively in Nairobi.

COTU boss Francis Atwoli said the move by EPRA is a precursor to social unrest.

“COTU (K) would like to remind the government that unless their policies place Kenyan workers at the centre. then they should prepare for unrest from all quarters” Atwoli said while calling out the President.

“We would like His Excellency the President to come out and make a statement on this unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices. The President should, himself, explain to Kenyans why the government is hellbent on increasing the pain and suffering of Kenyan workers and Kenyans in general amid the Covid-19 pandemic” he said in a statement.

A post calling for nationwide demonstrations and whose origin remained unclear was circulated on several networks namely Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

“This is to notify all motorists that tomorrow Thursday 16th September from 12.00 noon, we shall hold a countrywide demonstration regarding rising in petrol price” read the communication that was copied to Matatu Owners Association and the Ministry of Transport.

Public transport was however not disrupted despite a warning to travellers. The Association told members of the public to disregard the viral message calling for a nationwide matatu strike.

The high prices would definitely push up inflation which is already at an all-time high as a result of the Covid-19 effects and new taxes.

Kenya’s inflation accelerated to an 18-month high in August driven by higher food and gas prices.

The monthly Consumer Price Index by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows inflation rose to 6.57 per cent compared to 6.55 per cent in July.

The prices for all 13 items in the food basket rose for the first time in the past two years, a spiral effect of a high tax regime that kicked in July.

Political profiteering

Meanwhile, the Motorist Association of Kenya (MAK) has termed the hike by EPRA as deceitful.

In a statement, MAK chairperson Peter Murima said they would mobilise mass action to pressure the government to rescind the move and parliament correct the delinquent with immediate effect.

“The local fuel Parent Ministry should not let EPRA base their adjustment on global prices which are recovering until when the prices get to the position they were before corona disruption of supply. If EPRA continues to base their skewed unscientific adjustments on this basis fuel prices will hit incredible figures detrimental to the whole country economy” he noted.

He further observed that fuel supply has been infiltrated by political profiteering stating that the buck stops with the Ministry of Energy.

“The 14th September 2021 Ksh 8 increase is dishonest and economic sabotage which cannot be allowed. The government must rescind the move and parliament correct the delinquent with immediate effect. We, therefore demand that EPRA and the minister of Energy stop underrating the intelligence of Kenyans by purporting to increase fuel on the pretext of growing world prices” he said.

“Oil policy in Kenya is at its worst and the buck stops with the CS Energy Charles Keter. MAK will take part and partner in joint protests against this injustice till a fair market is attained” Murima warned.

He cautioned that if EPRA continues to base their skewed unscientific adjustments,  fuel prices will hit incredible figures which is detrimental to the economy.

“The local fuel Parent Ministry should not let EPRA base their adjustment on global prices which are recovering until when the prices get to the position they were before corona disruption of supply.

 

 

 

 

  

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