Motorists in Kajiado cross into Tanzania for cheap fuel

Fuel stations in Tanzania are selling petrol at Ksh184.18 and diesel at Ksh186.76.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Dozens of motorists and boda boda riders in the border town of Namanga, Kajiado County, are currently flocking to neighbouring Tanzania in search of cheap fuel.

Last week, Kenya's Energy & Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) announced increase in fuel prices.

Fuel prices in remote areas are a little higher, prompting outcry over the past three days.

A Nation spot check in Tanzania on Monday showed that a litre of Super petrol was selling at Tsh 3,297, equivalent to Sh184.18, while diesel was selling at Tsh3,343, equivalent to Sh186.76 at an exchange rate of Tsh 17.9 to a Kenyan shilling.

Kenyan motorists who cross into Tanzania for fuel save Sh27.46 and Sh14.23 for a litre of petrol and diesel respectively.

However, fuel prices in Tanzania have gone up by a small margin due to the fluctuation in the exchange rate from Tsh 17.3 to TSh 17.9 for one Kenyan shilling.

 petrol station attendant told the Nation that sales had soared in the past two days.

"Biashara kwetu imenoga, hatulalamiki (Business is booming, we have no complains)"

It's a booming business for unscrupulous fuel traders who cross into Tanzania through a clandestine route along the Kenya-Tanzania border and sell the scarce commodity in makeshift shops.

"Cheap fuel is being sold on the side streets. We know it's illegal, but we are forced to buy. It's survival of the fittest," said a motorist.

On the Kenyan side of the border, petrol stations were deserted and there was little activity, indicating a low level of fuel business.