Kilifi South MP, Ken Chonga, wants Parliament adjourned indefinitely until lawmakers find lasting solutions to the skyrocketing fuel prices bedevilling the country.
Speaking at the National Assembly on Tuesday, October 3, Chonga called on the legislators to halt all sessions and motions lined up for discussion to pay attention to the price hike, which increased the cost of living.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) MP acknowledged that the hike in fuel prices may be attributed to global demand and supply chain but argued that recent taxes on fuel further propelled the prices. One of the taxes he referred to was the doubling of the Value Added Tax on fuel from 8 to 16 per cent.
“It is against this background that I seek for the adjournment of this house to discuss this matter of urgent measure of importance with a view to find a sustainable solution to the ever-increasing fuel prices,” the Kilifi South MP agitated.
File image of fuel attendant fueling a car
Laying claims that the fuel cost doesn’t match the purchasing power of consumers, Chonga warned that consumers were struggling to make ends meet and the 40% taxation on fuel worsens the situation.
Reports indicate that taxes in Kenya now account for 40 per cent of the cost of every litre of super petrol and diesel, compared to 14 per cent in Illinois State— the state with the highest fuel taxation in the US— and South Africa at 30 per cent. Neighbouring Ethiopia does not tax fuel.
Chonga believes that his demand will join other calls for sustainable action towards fuel hikes since the last review by the Energy and Petroleum Authority (EPRA) on Thursday, September 14.
EPRA increased the cost of Super Petrol to a record high of Ksh211.64, diesel to Ksh200.99, and kerosene to ksh202.61 per litre for the period between September 15 and October 14.
The authority explained that the cost increased due to the spike in the total landing cost of petroleum products.
Prior to this review, the government cushioned Kenyans against the rising costs through subsidies from the Petroleum Development Levy.
With the cushion, Kenyans paid Ksh194.68 for a litre of super petrol, Ksh179.67 for a litre of diesel, and Ksh179.67 for a litre of kerosene.
The fuel cost has pushed Kenyans to seek alternative fuels such as natural gas and electricity, as some abandoned their cars at home to cope with the prices. Local public transport providers also adopted electric vehicles to cut down on costs.
Immediately after the review, MPs demanded an explanation as to why the much-hyped government-to-government oil deal President William Ruto’s administration signed with three foreign companies was yet to benefit consumers.
MPs want the deal suspended, arguing that it had failed to cushion Kenyans, reduce the price of fuel and ensure the shilling gains against the dollar.
An Image of a Fuel pump at a Nairobi Petrol Station on July 14, 2021.