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November 17, 2018

[VIDEO] Long queues at petrol stations as fuel distributors strike

Motorist queue at Westland Oil Com filling Station in Nairobi on the night of September 5,2018. /ENOS TECHE
Motorist queue at Westland Oil Com filling Station in Nairobi on the night of September 5,2018. /ENOS TECHE

A fuel crisis has hit the country following  a boycott by Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors over the 16% VAT on fuel.  

Long queues were witnessed at various petrol stations as motorists sought to replenish their stocks.

Some of them were seen being turned away in areas where the commodity had ran out.  

The shortage was also experienced in major towns of Eldoret, Nakuru, and Kisumu. Other towns like Homa Bay had fuel.

Motorists were forced to drive to various petrol stations in the city and the few available were marked by long queues.

The Shell station at GPO, Astrol on Lenana Road, South B  are some of the petrol stations that lacked the commodity.

Some drivers said they were forced to drive to more than five petrol stations and were given restrictions on the amount they could purchase.

Oil Com petrol station was the only one with fuel in Westlands as at midday.

Managers said they had approximately 30,000 litres remaining to take them through the day.

The crisis was staged after ERC cancelled licences for fuel distributors on Wednesday citing economic sabotage.

Read: ERC cancels fuel distributors license over 'economic sabotage'

A number Shell and Oil Libya reported shortages since Tuesday even as Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors officials insisted that they will not load fuel on trucks at depots.

The group said the crisis is likely to continue until the imposed VAT is shelved.

The Kenya Motorists Association (KMA) affiliate had called for a total boycott following a decision by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to effect the tax.

"After a meeting, Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors are in solidarity with motorists' for a total boycott," KMA chairperson Peter Murima said.

He said the boycott started on Monday morning after a meeting, stated that their strike will go on until the VAT on fuel is scrapped.

Truck drivers in Mombasa have also held demonstrations and insisted that they will not transport the product until the government intervenes.

The over 300 truck drivers said that they will not allow the government to intimidate them.

Ben Okoth, a dealer, said that the fuel from Mombasa was very expensive and did not make any profit could he transport it to Kampala.

"We are running a business that will not give us any profit hence the strike," he said.

Read: Short-lived relief as CS effects 16% VAT on fuel

Social media users posted under #FuelShortage to inform motorists of areas where fuel was available.

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