Press Statement on the increased Fuel Prices: Stop irritating Kenyan workers
Yesterday, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) increased the prices of super petrol by Sh.7.63 per litre, diesel by Sh.5.75 per litre, and kerosene by Sh.5.41 per litre.
This came even after we had issued a warning earlier, through a press statement, strongly condemning the move by EPRA terming it as outrageous and insensitive.
It would interest the public to know that it only costs Sh.49.84 to import a litre of petrol from the Middle East while an average Kenyan has to pay an extra Sh.73.97 for every litre of petrol purchased. These obnoxious and ridiculous amounts in taxes and levies paid by struggling Kenyan workers have been occasioned by the fact that parliament has failed to safeguard their interest even as primitive institutions like EPRA continue to punish workers without ceasing.
Maybe unknown to EPRA, a change in fuel prices has a domino effect on the prices of consumer goods. COTU (K) would like to remind EPRA that it is fuel that is used in the manufacturing and production of goods consumed by every Kenyan household on daily basis. Therefore, the change of fuel prices willy-nilly by EPRA is not just downright contempt to the many Kenyans currently struggling and suffering, as a result of the harsh economic situation occasioned by Covid-19, but a move that might invite social unrest.
Kenyans have suffered enough as a result of Covid-19 considering many lives and livelihoods have been destroyed and the last thing any sane government would want to do at such a time is to raise the cost of living.
As COTU (K), we are DEMANDING that Parliament should URGENTLY ventilate this issue and save this otherwise beautiful country from the social unrest that might be occasioned by the change in fuel prices.
Secondly, COTU (K) requests that His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, also, URGENTLY intervenes by either issuing a fiat suspending some of the taxes and levies on fuel or by calling EPRA to order. The President should call for the audit of the entire Ecosystem around the energy sector and save Kenyans from cartels that have hijacked the energy sector in Kenya.
Dr Francis Atwoli, NOM (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS