The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli has condemned the government for hiking fuel prices despite a decline in international prices of crude oil.
On Tuesday, September 14, the government removed fuel subsidies that saw pump prices hit a historic high.
The subsidies amounted to Ksh7.10 on a litre of petrol, Ksh9.90 on diesel and Ksh11.36 on kerosene.
As a result, a litre of super petrol, diesel and kerosene is now retailing at Ksh134.72, Ksh115.60 and Ksh110.82 respectively in Nairobi.
“This increase, with over seven shillings for every litre of fuel, comes at a time when, first, the prices of crude oil were reduced internationally last month and, secondly, many Kenyan workers’ are still suffering from heavy taxation and half salaries due to the adverse effects of Covid-19,” said Atwoli.
“It only costs Ks49.84 to import a litre of petrol from the Middle East while an average Kenyan has to pay an extra of around Ksh84 for every litre of petrol purchased. Interestingly. Uganda, which is a landlocked country, retails its petrol at Ksh110 compared to Kenya’s Ksh134.”
The prices are expected to further go up on October 1 after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) starts implementing new tax rates as they increase excise duty rates by 4.97 percent.
“Considering the domino effect of fuel prices on consumer goods, transport, hardware and other essential and basic commodities, the move by EPRA can only be seen as a precursor to social unrest. COTU (K) would like to remind the government that unless their policies place Kenyan workers at the centre, then they should prepare for unrest from all quarters,” added Atwoli
Atwoli has also called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to explain the hike to Kenyans.
“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,” he added.