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September 20, 2018

Fuel crisis in Bungoma as prices remain high

People stranded at a Bungoma petrol station on Friday /BRIAN OJAMAA
People stranded at a Bungoma petrol station on Friday /BRIAN OJAMAA

Most petrol stations in Bungoma are experiencing shortage or lack of fuel.

Most petrol station attendants in major towns of Kimilili, Webuye, Chwele and Bungoma were idle on Friday.

The stations have not lowered fuel prices despite a Bungoma court on Thursday granting temporary orders stopping the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum.

The petitioners represented by lawyer Ken Amondi argued that Treasury CS Henry Rotich violated core constitutional principles and values by effecting the tax on September 1. Justice Stephen Riechi ordered the matter be mentioned on September 9 in Kisumu.

The petitioners under the Sumawe Youth Group argued that the matter was an issue of public interest.

National Oil station manager in Bungoma town, Cosmas Odhiambo, said after the increase in fuel prices, they haven’t had the commodity for close to three days.

He said despite the Bungoma court ruling, the price has not decreased and they are still selling a litre of petrol for Sh130. Odhiambo said they have not received fuel since transporters went on strike. “We are calling upon the transporters to respect the court orders so that we can serve our clients,” he said. Odhiambo asked the government to ensure the court orders are respected and implemented immediately.

Boda boda rider in Webuye town, Reuben Simiyu, said petrol stations have not adhered to the court orders. “I went to fuel my motorbike only to find the prices are still high. We are wondering why people in this country are not following court orders,” he said.

He said they are having a hard time serving their regular customers who do not understand why they have to pay higher fares.

On Thursday, long queues were witnessed at various petrol stations across the country as motorists sought to fill up.

In Nairobi, motorists were forced to drive to various petrol stations in and the few available were marked by long queues. Some drivers said they were forced to drive to more than five petrol stations and were limited in how much they could purchase.

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