GSU officers escort fuel trucks to fuel stations

Kenyans should expect fuel at the filling stations across the city as supply resumed on Thursday afternoon following intervention by General Service Unit police officers who flushed out dealers staging protests at the Industrial Area fuel depot.

The wholesalers under the Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association had vowed to disrupt the distribution of fuel after a 16 per cent Value Added Tax on petroleum products which took effect on Saturday.

According to Josphat Kamau, a truck driver working for Shell fuel stations,  “The police officers cleared the barricades and we were able to fill our trucks. The product will be available at our stations shortly.”

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A police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said they had firm instructions to ensure only drivers refuelling their tanks had access to the depot.

In addition, “We’re not going to entertain any monkey business around here.”

The operation followed cancellation of a licence issued to the Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association (Kipeda) Holdings Limited, an entity responsible for the wholesale of petroleum products in the country, by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

ERC, in a statement on Wednesday evening cited economic sabotage by Kipeda Holdings Limited.

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According to ERC, the firm was behind an elaborate intimidation scheme that has seen fuel transporters stage a strike over the implementation of the 16pc VAT on petroleum products, a strike which triggered fuel shortages in Nairobi and Mombasa.

ERC cited Section 85 of the Energy Act (2006) in revoking the licence held by Kipeda Holdings Limited.

“The Commission wishes to inform members of the public that the action by Kipeda Holdings Limited amounts to economic sabotage and hereby cancels the licence of the said licensee pursuant to Section 85 of the Energy Act No. 12 of 2006,” ERC stated.

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“Kipeda Holdings Limited is therefore no longer licenced to carry out import, export and wholesale of petroleum products,” ERC announced.

The energy regulator issued another statement on Thursday dismissing claims of erroneous computation of new fuel prices following the coming into effect of the 16pc tax.

ERC said the current fuel prices were correctly reviewed in consultations with the National Treasury.

The commission restated that the current fuel prices will remain as are dismissing reports of an impending review as misleading.

 

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