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February 23, 2019

Motorists drive in droves to Uganda for fuel

Boda boda operators /FILE
Boda boda operators /FILE

Kenyans living along the Busia-Malaba border are flocking to Uganda to fuel their vehicles and boda bodas. The 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products has raised prices.

A litre of petrol sells for Sh128-130, diesel retails at Sh118. In Uganda petrol is sold at Sh110 (Ush4,080 ), diesel at Sh102 (Ush3,750 ) per litre.

Fuelling a vehicle that takes 60 litres will cost Sh7,800 in Kenya and Sh6,600 in Uganda. Kenyan drivers will save Sh1,200 to fuel in Uganda.

Long-distance truck drivers fuel their vehicles to capacity, including reserve tanks, before crossing into Kenya. In the past, drivers used to fuel in Kenya.

Busia boda bodas chairman Eric Makokha said they have no option but to fuel their vehicles and boda bodas in Uganda until the VAT is revoked or deferred.

Makokha said boda boda riders have increased town service charges from Sh50 to Sh100.

“We want President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and save Wanjiku from skyrocketing fuel prices to put the country’s economy back on track,” he said.

The fuel cost has added to the misery that Kenyan traders at the border face. Many Kenyans have been crossing to the Uganda to buy beer for a Sh100 per bottle, compared to Sh200 in Kenya.

On Monday, matatu saccos agreed to increase fares by 20 per cent following the introduction of the new 16 per cent on petroleum products.

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