The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) has opposed the increase in fuel prices saying Kenyans are already sufering.
“As COTU (kK), we are opposed to the perpetual increase in fuel prices and would like to urge the government to be innovative with how they raise their taxes,” the Union’s statement released Thursday said in part.
For the 9th time since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya on 12t” March 2020, the Kenyan government, through the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), has AGAIN increased fuel prices.
This increase, with over seven shillings for every litre of fuel, comes at a time when, first, the prices of crude oil were reduced internationally last month and, secondly, many Kenyan workers’ are still suffering from heavy taxation and half salaries due to the adverse effects of 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.
Over and above this is the fact that the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will, from October 1, start implementing new tax rates as they increase excise duty rates by 4.97 per cent.
Considering the domino effect of fuel prices on consumer goods, transport, hardware and other essential and basic commodities, the move by EPRA can only be seen as a precursor to social unrest. COTU (K) would like to remind the government that unless their policies place Kenyan workers at the centre, then they should prepare for unrest from all quarters.
As COTU (kK), we are opposed to the perpetual increase in fuel prices and would like to urge the government to be innovative with how they raise their taxes. At the same time, 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.
Finally, we would like His Excellency the President to come out and make a statement on this unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices. The President should, himself, explain to Kenyans why the government is hellbent on increasing the pain and suffering of Kenyan workers and Kenyans in general amid the Covid-19 pandemic.