The Central Organization of Trade Unions(COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli has condemned the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) for its decision to adjust prices upwards for petroleum products by an all-time high
In a statement, Atwoli says many Kenyans are facing the most difficult moments in their life owing to the hard economic times the country is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic..
“It is outrageous and insensitive for the Authority to allow for increases of up to Ksh8.19, Ksh5,51 and Ksh5.32 per litre for Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene respectively when such move will automatically lead to increased prices on consumer products across all Kenyans as well as transport costs where workers will be at pain to bear the extra costs in fares and fueling of their vehicles,” noted Atwoli.
Atwoli now wants the Energy Ministry to intervene immediately, by reversing the increase in fuel prices that was announced on Sunday, February 14.
“COTU views this move by the Authority as an affront to workers and Kenyans as a whole and demand for the Energy Ministry’s immediate intervention in the matter to avoid any imminent confrontation that the government is likely to attract from workers and the rest of the Kenyans since Kenyans have endured enough pain trying to make ends meet and put food on the table since the advent of COVID-19 in March last year and any attempts similar to the ones being brought by EPRA will only but catalyze an already provoked people to come out and demand for government protection,” he added.
According to Atwoli, the energy sector has been infiltrated by cartels who are the major beneficiaries of the high fuel prices.
“COTU is afraid that cartels have since taken over the oil industry and unless deliberate efforts are made to reverse this trend that has now become the hallmark of EPRA, businesses will close, workers will lose their livelihoods and more and more Kenyans will further be confined into abject poverty and Kenyans will simply run out of options,” said Atwoli.
A litre of Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene will now retail at Ksh115.18, Ksh101.91 and Ksh92.44 in Nairobi starting midnight.