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Ngirici slams oil marketers for escalating fuel crisis

The Kirinyaga woman representative says it is malicious to hoard the commodity

In Summary
  • The fuel crisis hit the country at the beginning of the month.
  • The government, through the Kenya Pipeline Company, has assured the public it has enough fuel supply, amid the ongoing shortage.
Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici addresses Mwea residents on Wednesday
Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici addresses Mwea residents on Wednesday
Image: WANGECHI WANG'ONDU

As Kenyans continue to feel the pinch of the fuel shortage crisis, a Kirinyaga MP has accused marketers for worsening the problem.

Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici said it is unfair for marketers to continue hoarding the commodity, despite having been paid the arrears they were demanding.

She termed the action of hoarding as fishy and malicious, saying the marketers need to explain why they have failed to discharge enough fuel throughout the country.

Speaking Wednesday in Mwea, Kirinyaga county, Ngirici said the action of withholding an essential commodity for public use is a crime that amounts to economic sabotage, which is punishable by law.

The government earlier in the month disbursed Sh34 billion for the settlement of the marketers' debt, a situation likely to inject some hope into the crisis.

The fuel crisis hit the country at the beginning of the month.

Ngirici said it is unfortunate that many Kenyans will fail to travel for  Easter holidays because of the shortage.

She further said the prices of many commodities and services have started to shoot up since them solely rely on fuel for their production.

Her sentiments come as many motorists in Kirinyaga county continue to feel the effect of the ongoing shortage.

A spot check by the Star revealed long queues by both boda bodas and vehicle owners in many gasoline stations in major towns across the county.

Many of the busy roads leading to petrol stations have also been reduced to car parking spaces creating unbearable traffic.

In Kerugoya town, many private car owners are relying on boda bodas to buy them fuel from any operating petrol stations.

For Maina Njoroge, drastic times  call for drastic measures. He said he sends boda bodas to other stations within and outside town in search of the precious commodity.

“If I follow the car queue, by the time my turn reaches, I will have spent so many unproductive hours and yet I am not sure if I will get the fuel," Njoroge said. 

He said though the approach of involving riders is very costly, he is left with no choice but to cough up extra money to pay up the riders.

Martin Mwangi, a matatu operator whose vehicle ply Kerugoya-Nairobi route, said the situation is tough.

“I search for fuel mostly at night after making my last trip of the day. This is to ensure that I have enough fuel to last me the following day,” Mwangi said

He urged the government to ensure the crisis is brought to an end as it is hurting the transport industry.

However, James Kariuki, a young boda boda rider in Kerugoya, is making a killing out of the crisis. He said business is booming as most private motorists are in dire need of their service.

Though reluctant on disclose the amount he makes per day, the rider said it is thrice the amount  he makes on normal days while carrying passengers.  

Meanwhile, the government, through the Kenya Pipeline Company, has  assured the public it has enough fuel supply, amid the ongoing shortage.

 

(edited by Amol Awuor)

Motorist in search of fuel in one of the few operational petrol stations in Kerugoya town
Motorist in search of fuel in one of the few operational petrol stations in Kerugoya town
Image: WANGECHI WANG'ONDU
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