In a parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, November 7, led by President William Ruto, who serves as the party leader of UDA and the head of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition, concerns over the escalating fuel prices in the country took center stage.
Ruto says fuel prices are not causing him sleepless nights & his hands are tied
Kenya Kwanza MPs raised concerns about rising fuel prices during a PG at State House, Nairobi
The gathering, attended by over 200 Members of Parliament, shed light on the pressing issue of the high cost of living, largely attributed to the surge in fuel prices.
Insiders familiar with the discussion in the meeting revealed that leaders expressed apprehensions about the continuous rise in fuel prices, impacting the lives of millions of Kenyans and contributing to the government's waning popularity.
Surprisingly, President Ruto stated that this predicament was not causing him distress, asserting that his hands were tied.
The head of state is reported to have said that that there's nothing much that his government can do to stop the increase in fuel prices.
The president cited the already existing fuel stabilization fund as a short-term remedy and dismissed any possibility of the return of subsidies as had been suggested by a section of lawmakers.
On concerns about losing popularity, the MPS stated that the president's response was that they do not have to be popular all the time as long as they are popular when and where it matters.
In Kenya, fuel is subjected to nine types of taxes accounting for more than 50% of the cost.
The nine taxes imposed on Kenya's fuel include;
- Excise tax
- 18% VAT
- Road maintenance levy
- Petroleum development levy
- Import declaration fee
- Petroleum regulatory levy
- Railway development levy
- Anti-adulteration levy
- Merchant shipping levy
Soaring fuel prices take a toll on Kenyans
The already burdensome cost of fuel has left Kenyans grappling with the harsh realities of everyday life.
In Nairobi, motorists are paying Sh217.36 for petrol, Sh205.47 for diesel, and Sh204.46 for kerosene. The impact on Kenyan households has become increasingly evident, with ripple effects felt across various sectors of society.
The transportation sector, a lifeline for many who rely on buses, matatus, and motorcycles, has been significantly affected.
Commuters now face the daunting task of managing increased fares, putting additional strain on their limited financial resources.
The domino effect extends beyond transportation, as the rise in fuel prices reverberates through the economy.
Small businesses, which form the backbone of the Kenyan entrepreneurial spirit, are grappling with higher operating costs.
From farmers transporting produce to market vendors selling goods, the increased expenses are felt by all, threatening the livelihoods of those who are already on the margins.
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