Kenyans angry over minister’s statements on rising fuel prices

by MMC
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“reckless and insensitive”

By
Victor Abuso

Published on September 19, 2023 11:32

Fuel prices are rising again in Kenya as people try to make ends meet.  (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Fuel prices are rising again in Kenya as people try to make ends meet. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Kenyans have been asked to tighten their belts again, even as they continue to suffer from the high cost of living due to increased taxes.

Trade Minister Moses Kuria and President William Ruto’s top economic adviser David Ndii are on hand again following their remarks on new fuel prices announced last week.

In its monthly price review, the Petroleum and Energy Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has increased the new retail price of a liter of petrol to Ksh 211, an increase of Ksh 16, which constitutes a record level.

The Matatu Owners Association, a lobby group for public transport operators, announced a 20% fare increase across the country following the EPRA announcement.

In recent months, Kenyans have had to endure high costs of living after the government introduced new taxes.

No empathy

Kuria had no kind words for Kenyans, warning that fuel prices will continue to rise until February 2024.

He says Kenyans should stop complaining. “While you continue to complain about rising fuel prices, why don’t you just drill your own oil well,” he said at a rally in the Western Region over the weekend -last end.

George Maina, a boda boda (motorbike) in Kasarani, northeast of Nairobi, says The Africa report that he is disappointed by Kuria’s words.

“How can a leader speak like this? Where is the empathy that this government promised to the poor? he said, adding that he is forced to increase fares by Ksh20 after the new fuel prices.

Bad image

Others took to social media to condemn the comments made by Ruto’s confidants.

Moses Kuria is a reckless and an insensitive human being,” Mutua Loyd said on X, while Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale urged President Ruto to sack the minister saying: “Watu wenye umepatia kazi wamekuingiza kona mbaya sana (Those to whom you gave work pushed you into a bad situation).”

“President Ruto, fire these people, otherwise they will be make your government look bad“, declared the senator.

Ndii, Ruto’s economic advisor, also made Remarks this caused public outrage. “I don’t believe in politicians and I don’t trust the government. If you do either, you’re an asshole,” he said on his X account.

However, according to Energy Minister Davis Chirchir, the skyrocketing cost of fuel is caused by an increase in the international landing costs of this product.and the rise in the price of crude oil on international markets.

“The pain is intense, but there is nothing we can do” he said.

Vice President Rigathi Gachagua has tried to rein in government officials, urging them to exercise caution in these difficult economic times.

“Responsible leaders must be sensitive and inspire hope in the people,” he said.

However, political analyst Edwin Kegoli says Kuria and Ndii are telling the truth about the country’s economic situation.

“(The) government should tell Kenyans that things are difficult and the promises they made are difficult to implement,” he says. The Africa Report.

Hot air

During last year’s presidential campaign, Ruto toured the country promising to ensure fuel prices were lowered. Instead, he removal of fuel subsidies leading to a sharp increase.

“Ruto’s promises were nothing but wind: he is not letting us down,” says Martha Atieno, a young unemployed woman. The Africa Report.

According to her, the increase in fuel prices and remarks by government officials show that the government does not care about ordinary Kenyans.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga criticized Ruto for making life unbearable for Kenyans, calling the president’s economic policies a big disaster.

“Ruto talks too much and does little action,” Raila said. “As we enter the second year of Kenya Kwanza governance, it appears we are in a reckless downward spiral. »

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