Acute fuel shortage hits parts of Western Province
Written by Rosemary Wachiye
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Webuye motorists queue up at the petrol station
As motorist and other fuel consumers wait for the new fuel prices this month from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), most consumers in some areas in Western Province are facing an acute shortage of fuel.
Webuye motorists in Bungoma County and its environs raise complaints of lack of petrol in most Petrol stations in the area citing it as a malicious plot by some businessmen to be able to sell it out later at a higher price. (Read: Kitale town petrol stations running out of fuel
“Some people may be hiding this fuel for them to be able to sell it later at a higher price amid claims of scarcity and the high demands by the users,” said Mr. Robert Walucho, a motorcyclist.
The motorists, motorcycle riders and citizens with empty jerricans were packed outside Petrol stations in large numbers in search for the scarce commodity which they explain to have been missing for the past two days.
“Petrol has been missing in most petrol stations for the past two days causing huge commotion of people seeking to get it,” said Mr. Ben Lunani, a motorist.
Most Petrol station owners took advantage of the situation to raise the price of the commodity which they complained to be at the expense of a common citizen.
“1.5 Litres of Super petrol that is normally sold at Sh.150 is now going at Sh.200 which is a big burden to some of us but we have no choice than to purchase it for us to be able to transport people,” said one motorist.
Similarly, ERC director general Kaburu Mwirichia disclosed that the price of Murban crude increased last month, which would translate to higher prices for consumers of which he did not disclose to what percentage the price increase would be.
According to some of the motorist this move might be political plot by some politicians who are also business men this being an election year for them to be able to accumulate cash out of the sale of petrol for campaigning.
“We have all the reason to see this as a politically motivated move, to make the commodity scarce so as to sell it later at a higher price to gain more profit to be used finally in campaign period,” said Mr.Lunani.
Most of the motorcyclist had come from Malava, Chimoi and Kipkaren to get the fuel as they claimed that all the fuel stations in those areas had dried down.
Residents with jerricans too queued up, similarly vehicle motorists, a show of high demand for the commodity; spelling fear to the only Petrol station that had the fuel making them to limit the quantity being sold to an individual to be able to serve all the customers.
To others it was ironical that recently the government had announced to have found oil in Turkana and yet a few weeks later there is a reported scarcity of the same commodity in the country.
“Recently we heard the government announcing to have found oil and now we Kenyans are suffering because of lack of petrol, what is the government doing about it?” asked a furious motorist.
However, most Petrol station owners could not explain the reason for that scarcity but termed it to be all over the country and not just in some parts.