Fuel crisis looms over night transport ban

Fuel crisis looms over night transport ban

The country is headed towards a fuel crisis as petroleum distributors vowed not to resume work until the government lifts an order banning the transportation of fuel after 6:30pm.

This even as the Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association (KIPEDA) met with Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter but failed to agree on a way forward.

Sources privy to the meeting say the CS promised to issue a directive prohibiting the police and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) officers from harassing transporters on the road.

KIPEDA Chairman Joseph Karanja however said the distributors would not resume operations until the same is put in writing.

After the meeting, Mr Keter said “yes their strike is over” but the transporters say work will resume only after the signed letter is delivered.

“We will only resume after we see the letter,” Mr Karanja affirmed to Citizen Digital.

Since Monday an estimated 40 million liters of fuel has not been supplied to petrol stations.

This has raised concern of grappling fuel shortage across the country.

The strike has also affected the large oil marketers such as Total, Shell and Kenol Kobil with their drivers and contractors being urged to stay off the roads.

A section of fuel stations visited by Citizen Digital said they would run out of stock on Wednesday unless the issue is resolved.

Fuel truckers however say the move only works to stifle their business, contradicting government plans to become a 24 hour economy.

The transporters also claim to be harassed by police on the road.

The ERC wrote a letter in December to the Inspector General police stating that all tank trucks that carry petroleum should not travel before 6:30am or after 6:30pm.

The rule was implemented due to the recent tank truck accident that happened in the Nairobi to Naivasha road that killed 30 people.

Mr Keter is scheduled to meet with his Interior counterpart Joseph Nkaissery on Wednesday.

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