Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary general Francis Atwoli has called upon President Uhuru Kenyatta to come out and explain the unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices.
In a statement, Atwoli said Kenyatta should come out and explain to Kenyans why the government hellbent on increasing the pain and suffering of Kenyan workers and Kenyans in general amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Cotu is opposed to the perpetual increase in fuel prices and would like to urge the government to be innovative with how it raises taxes.
“As COTU we would like to remind His Excellency the President that Kenyan workers are suffering and that he should not tolerate the impunity, punishment and the affront towards Kenyan workers by bodies such as EPRA,” said Atwoli.
Atwoli said the increase comes at a time when many workers are suffering from heavy taxation and slashed salaries due to Covid-19.
“As observed earlier, in our warning to the government to stop irritating Kenyan workers with these outrageous and insensitive increases in fuel prices, it only costs Sh.49.84 to import a litre of petrol from the Middle East while an average Kenyan has to pay an extra of around Sh.84 for every litre of petrol purchased. Interestingly, Uganda, which is a landlocked country, retails its petrol at Sh. 110 compared to Kenya’s Sh. 134,” added Atwoli.
He said the government should prepare for unrest from all quarters.
“We would like Uhuru to comment and make a statement on this unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices. Unless their policies place Kenyan workers at the centre then they should prepare for unrest from all quarters,” he said.
EPRA, on Tuesday, revised upwards the price of super petrol, diesel and kerosene by Sh7.58, Sh7.94 and Sh12.97 per litre respectively.
Epra said the jump in prices was due to the lifting of the stabilisation fund which had cushioned consumers from previous increases.
This increased the price of petrol by Sh7.58 a litre in Nairobi to Sh134.72 while diesel has shot by Sh7.94 to Sh115.6 a litre — the highest in Kenya’s history.
Effectively, a litre of petrol in Nairobi will now cost Sh135 from previous retailing price of Sh127.
The cost of diesel will be Sh116 from Sh108 while kerosene will cost Sh111 from Sh98 per litre respectively.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Revenue Authority has also announced plans to increase excise duty rates on fuel and excisable goods by 4.97 per cent.
“Kenya Revenue Authority would therefore like to inform manufacturers and importers of excisable goods falling under the specific rate category and members of the public that the Commissioner General will adjust rates of excise duty using the avarage inflation rate for the Financial Year 2020/2021 of 4.97 per cent, as determined by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics,” stated KRA.
This increase on taxes for the commodities will be added to the recently reviewed fuel prices that have left struggling Kenyans strained economically.