Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has vowed to end the monopoly enjoyed by Kenyatta and Odinga families in the milk and gas sectors respectively.
Gachagua attributed the unbearable cost of living to the continued monopoly of the milk and gas sector that has led to continuous increase in the prices of the commodities.
He sentiments came after President William Ruto pledged that his government will ensure that gas prices are lowered to retail at between Sh300 and Sh500 from June this year.
Gachagua who spoke while attending a church service at Jesus Winner Chapel in Roysambu, Nairobi on Sunday said milk and gas have been controlled by the two political families for long and there must be an end to their hold.
“There has been a monopoly by one person in the milk sector. We are opening up that sector. We are going to open up the milk industry and gas industry,” Gachagua said.
The DP also accused former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee administration of attempting to stop President Ruto from winning the 2022 polls so that they could continue to controlling the two critical sectors of the economy.
“They wanted to continue with State capture and monopoly and that is why they did not want us to win the elections. We are determined to bring more players in the milk and gas sector.” he added.
His promise to thrash the two monopolies came after the Kenya Kwanza administration on Tuesday offered a Tanzanian billionaire the licence to set up a cooking gas plant and storage facilities at the Mombasa port, averting a potential trade spat between Kenya and Tanzania.
Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) cleared Taifa Gas, which is owned by tycoon Rostam Aziz to get a share of the Kenyan market. Aziz had previously lamented that Kenya had gone quiet over his request to build a 30,000-tonne liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) handling facility in the country.
The entry of the man who was ranked the first dollar billionaire in Tanzania by Forbes in 2013, opens a vicious battle for control of the Kenyan cooking gas market that remains under the tight leash of Mombasa-based tycoon Mohamed Jaffer.
It also sets the stage for tycoon’s fight pitting Mr Jaffer and Mr Aziz, 58, that is first expected to reduce the cost of handling and evacuating cooking gas from the ships to the mainland thus allowing dealers to transfer the cost reliefs to consumers.
Mr Aziz’s dreams to establish a retail cooking gas presence in Kenya will also trigger a market fight with oil dealers like Vivo, Rubis and Total, for control of the 2.87 million households (23.9% of Kenyan households) that use the fuel for cooking.
Taifa Gas will build the 30,000-tonne Kenya facility at the Special Economic Zone in Dongo Kundu, near the port of Mombasa at an estimated cost of $130 million (Sh16.25 billion).
Dongo Kundu is right at the doorsteps of corrupt Jaffer where his firm, Africa Gas and Oil Ltd (AGOL), is operating a multi-billion shilling facility.
But the construction of the Taifa Gas facility will offers Kenya an opportunity to lower the price of cooking gas in absence of price controls.
While lauding to allow Aziz to operate in Kenya, DP Gachagua indirectly confirmed that his government with President William Ruto is going after former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake buddy, Raila Odinga’s business empires.
He argues that ending monopoly will allow more competitors into the market and consequently push prices down. The move will also his edge out brokers and benefit the local farmers.
“In terms of gas they have been selling because of monopoly hence we have decided to bring in more competitors for the price to go down.”
“In terms of milk, there has been a monopoly by one person, we’re opening that sector for competition to benefit the farmer and the prices to go down,” said Gachagua.
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