Senate to push for lower fuel and electricity taxes

Both fuel and electricity prices have risen recent higgs, further pushining up the cost of living in the country

In Summary
  • The Senate Energy Committee chairman Ephraim Maina said he will lead the senate to mobilize MPs
  • Fuel went up by Sh7.58 on a litre of petrol, diesel Sh7.94 and kerosene Sh12.97 respectively. 

The Senate has vowed to push the National Assembly review taxes and levies that have seen fuel and electricity prices hit an all-time high. 

The Senate Energy Committee chairman Ephraim Maina said this after Mining and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes and his Energy counterpart Charles Keter snubbed invites to explain causes for the high fuel and electricity prices.

"The issue of fuel and electricity touches on every aspect of life. Although the Senate has no mandate on taxes, we are going to mobile MPs to look for a way to reveal our people already hurting from the Covid-19 economic meltdown," Maina said. 

Maina committed to this after Narok Senator Ledama Olekina blamed Parliament for its role in passing laws that pushed up the cost of  petroleum.

"Parliament cannot run away from the current ills that have seen fuel and power costs go up. We have an obligation to redeem our people from this agony,'' Olekina said.

His position was supported by Siaya Senator James Orengo who rallied the committee to move a motion in the main house to discuss issues at hand, saying the public needs action and not excuses.

''Fuel and electricity matters are very serious. Households are suffering. We sufficiently discuss this and have a way forward. We must discuss this today in the main house,'' Orengo said. 

There was a countywide uproar and even demonstrations in some parts of the country  after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) announced a Sh7.58 increase on a litre of petrol, diesel Sh7.94 and kerosene Sh12.97.

Currently, a litre of petrol retails at Sh134.72, diesel at Sh115.6 and kerosene at Sh110.81 in Nairobi. 

On Friday, EPRA announced new electricity tariffs that saw a unit go up by at least Sh2. 

According to the regulator, the cost of a unit of power will go for an average of  Sh26.57 per month up from Sh24.77 in August, the highest in five years, further pushing up the cost of living.

An increase in both fuel and electricity is likely to hurt many Kenyans who are struggling to recover from the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

Angry senators called for the resignation of the two cabinet secretaries who they accused of defying summons to come address matters hurting common citizens. 

Busia Senator Amos Wako hit at Petroleum CS John Munyes for repeatedly absconding Senate summons, saying there must be sanctions for this. 

Munyes, who is currently out of the country requested to appear before the Senate Committee on Wednesday next week.

Energy CS Charles Keter on another hand said his invite is for Thursday. He told the Star that he will have to request the meeting to be postponed to September 29 since he will be out of the country on official duties.