President William Ruto has assured Kenyans that his government has put in place measures to stabilise fuel prices and ensure that they are further reduced in the coming months.
Dr Ruto argues that the government-to-government agreements he has signed with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will ensure that fuel prices do not rise further from their current levels.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) recently kept the price of super petrol unchanged while that of diesel and kerosene was reduced by Sh2 per litre.
“Even though prices of fuel are high globally, we as a country are ensuring that the prices do not hike to the level whereby the majority of Kenyans will suffer. From this month, those prices have started lowering. From next month and other months to come, the prices will lower further. We will control those prices so as to ensure that we are able to drive our economy in the right manner,” Dr Ruto said on Saturday at Thiguku area in Ndia Constituency, Kirinyaga County.
However, the president said fuel prices around the world are controlled by oil-producing countries.
“The only thing that I will not lie to you about is that fuel prices are controlled by the people who are selling them to us. As a country, we don’t produce our own fuel and that is why we purchase it elsewhere. Prices of fuel have hiked everywhere. But as a country, we came up with a plan,” he said.
Dr Ruto said the agreements between Kenya and the two governments have resulted in adequate fuel supply in the country.
“When we took over office, the majority of our fuel stations did not have sufficient fuel. There were huge queues of motorists at fuel stations due to the scarcity of the commodity. I went and talked to the governments of Saudi Arabia and UAE over the crisis. That is why we have plenty of fuel in the country,” Dr Ruto said.
In a statement on Wednesday, opposition leader Raila Odinga said the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum was the one that entered into a deal with state-owned oil companies in the Middle East.
Demand full disclosure
“The deal was a scam for which we now demand full disclosure and full accountability. It is corrupt and rotten to the core. It is state capture by Ruto and company and a conspiracy against the country. Ruto collapsing the country while feeding Kenyans on lullabies,” said Mr Odinga.
But the head of state said on Friday that Kenya was getting the commodity at a fair price compared to other East African countries because of the G-to-G oil deal.
“I want to tell you that we are buying fuel at a lower cost compared to our neighbouring governments. Our neighbouring countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are heading to emulate the agreements that I entered with the governments of Saudi Arabia and UAE,” Dr Ruto said.
National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichungwa accused the previous Jubilee government, led by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, of dabbling in oil.
“Raila Odinga knows that he was the sole guarantor and underwriter of the deep state, state capture and corruption that made fuel prices hike and the dollar deteriorate. The handshake government was doing business with the country’s fuel. Raila is now irritated because the oil business that he was brokering is no longer there,” said Mr Ichungwa while accompanying the President.
Dr Ruto launched the construction of the Sagana-Kathaka-Thiguku road.
He said he had been able to improve and strengthen bilateral relations between Kenya and other foreign partners, which he said had stabilised the economy.
“This task of reviving the economy is tough, but it must be done. I promise Kenyans that things will be better next year because we have been able to settle some hard obstacles that we found. I am announcing to you that I have faith that from next year, all the development projects that had stalled will be revived because we have been able to manage our economy,” Dr Ruto said.