COTU wants President Kenyatta to explain huge fuel price increase

COTU wants President Kenyatta to explain huge fuel price increase

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) has opposed the increase in fuel prices, urging the government to find innovative ways to raise taxes.

In a statement issued on Thursday, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to come out and explain the move by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority to increase pump prices.

“As COTU we would like to remind His Excellency the President that Kenyan workers are suffering and that he should not tolerate the impunity, punishment and the affront towards Kenyan workers by bodies such as EPRA,” said Atwoli.

He added: “We would like His Excellency the President to come out and make a statement on this unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices. The President should, himself, explain to Kenyans why the government is hellbent on increasing the pain and suffering of Kenyan workers and Kenyans in general amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The COTU boss said the increase comes at a time when many workers are suffering from heavy taxation and slashed salaries due to COVID-19.

“As observed earlier, in our warning to the government to stop irritating Kenyan workers with these outrageous and insensitive increases in fuel prices, it only costs Sh.49.84 to import a litre of petrol from the Middle East while an average Kenyan has to pay an extra of around Sh.84 for every litre of petrol purchased. Interestingly, Uganda, which is a landlocked country, retails its petrol at Sh. 110 compared to Kenya’s Sh. 134,” added Atwoli.

Terming the latest review as outrageous and insensitive, Atwoli noted that this will have a domino effect on other essential and basic commodities.

In its latest maximum pump price review, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) raised the prices of super petrol by Ksh.7.58 per litre.

This is while the cost of diesel and kerosene shoots by Ksh.7.94 and Ksh.12.97 per litre respectively from midnight on Wednesday.

A litre of petrol in Kenya’s Capital Nairobi will now cost Ksh.134.72 rising from Ksh.127.14.
The cost of diesel meanwhile spikes to Ksh.115.60 from Ksh.107.66 while kerosene will cost Ksh.110.82 from Ksh.97.85.

EPRA has attributed the rising fuel prices higher costs for landed petroleum products with the cost of landed super petrol rising by 0.72 per cent, diesel by 4.81 per cent and kerosene by 0.96 per cent.

The energy sector regulator however masks the true reasons behind the astronomical surge in fuel costs.