Chirchir predicts higher fuel prices as President says hands are tied

Energy cabinet secretary premonitions with certainty that the prices of fuel are going to rise yet again.

The price of Super Petrol which is now retailing at 217 shillings in Nairobi is likely to rise to Sh300 in the coming Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority fuel price review.

Energy CS Davis Chirchir said the increase will be occasioned by the war between Israel and Hamas

“The international prices of fuel could go up to 150 dollars. This would literally mean our petroleum prices could go up to Sh300 per liter at the Pump. We hope it will not get there,” he said.

He said this when he made submissions before the National Dialogue committee at Bomas of Kenya on Monday.

In a parliamentary group meeting chaired by the president, the 200 members of parliament raised concerns on the unending rise of the price referring to Tanzania which has cut to the prices of fuel.

“The product in Tanzania or Uganda will not be cheaper than Kenya on account of freight and premium it will be because of taxes. We will always be lower on freight and premium and that’s why I said we need a wider scope of time to discuss and take members through what was negotiated,” Chirchir responded.

The president however says his hands are tied on the matter of fuel prices that keep escalating.

The current prices were announced in mid October and barely a month earlier another lower price had been announced.

Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority announced in mid-October a revised price of fuel to a record high in the history of the country, with a liter of petrol now retailing at Sh217.

The frequent rise has caused ridicule from citizens who prefer that the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority should set a fixed high retail price and keep dropping it rather than raising it every now and then.

This comes few weeks after  the Deputy president predicted that the prices will still go up for the same reasons that CS Chirchir gave.

While speaking to section of leaders from Mount Kenya at the Nyeri national golf club few weeks ago, the deputy President pointed out that the impact that the war is making to the nation is beyond what the government can do.

“Another crisis is manifesting around the Palestinians and Israel, and that is not healthy for fuel. Many people have accused the government of escalating the cost of fuel. No responsible government can do that.,” Gachagua said.

He identified that this time round the tax payer will be forced to pay more from their pockets unlike before.

“If we subsidize fuel today, we’ll have to collect that money from somewhere and we will have to add more taxes..so we are saying we cannot subsidize fuel because that money will have to come from somebody, and that money would have to come from the taxpayer,” Gachagua said.

According to the World bank’s latest Commodity Markets Outlook, the Israel-Gaza conflict comes on top of disruptions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which had major implications in commodity prices on the back of disruptions in the global supply chain.

Kenya is among countries that were had hit by the Russia-Ukraine war mainly on grain supply, with the Israel-Gaza war now exposing the country to high fuel prices, as it imports its products from the Middle East.


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