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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ruto: Uhuru Regime Using Connected Companies to Create Fuel Shortage

  • Deputy President William Ruto, on Monday, April 4, accused President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government of using well-connected companies to deliberately create the acute fuel shortage witnessed across the country.

    Addressing the press from his Karen office, Ruto claimed that Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu had flagged the illegal diversion of consumer protection funds to private companies and state agencies, hence causing the ‘artificial shortage’.

    He added that Gathungu raised concerns on the malpractices in the importation of petroleum by certain oil companies.

    Deputy President William Ruto speaking at his Karen office, on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

    “The Auditor-General has already raised questions on the irregular and illegal diversion of these consumer protection funds to State agencies and unnamed private entities.

    “She has also decried abuse on the petroleum import system in favour of some preferred and politically connected oil marketers, deliberately depriving Kenyans of the subsidy mechanism,” the DP lamented. 

    He added that some powerful officials in the government, who he did not name, had interests in some of the companies that sell fuel to Kenyans – creating what he termed as conflict of interest and state capture. 

    Ruto called upon the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to reveal the import quota allocated to oil marketers in the last year and list the marketers by name.

    The DP alleged that the money was instead directed to offsetting debts accrued by the government and funding infrastructural development projects, without following the constitutional process. 

    “Can the treasury also confirm or deny that the diversion of funds has been used in debt servicing and infrastructure development without the approval of the National Assembly?” 

    “Why hasn’t there been any subsidy allocation in the budget in the last three years? We ask, where is the Ksh39 billion Petroleum Development Levy Fund meant for the fuel subsidy programme?” he questioned

    The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate claimed that some government officials had deliberately frustrated the passing of the Petroleum Products Tax and Levies Amendment Bill, which seeks to reduce the levies imposed on fuel that pushes the pump price to nearly double the landing costs.

    “All the roadblocks and back and forth be removed so that this bill can be passed as a matter of national emergency. This bill seeks to reduce the huge levies on petroleum products,” he noted.

    Ruto’s statement came a few minutes after Uhuru signed into law the Supplementary Budget Amendment bill that unlocked Ksh139.7 billion to be used to meet financial needs in various sectors. 

    In the new law, the government allocated Ksh34.4 billion to a fuel stabilization programmes aimed at cushioning Kenyans from the high cost of fuel prices.

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