Kenya’s fuel crisis will end in not more than 72 hours, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining said on Thursday as it also announced intentions to punish all oil marketing companies found guilty of hoarding petroleum ahead of the price review.
Energy Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, who is currently also the acting CS for petroleum and mining, said the hoarders are economically sabotaging the country by causing Kenyans an “unprecedented challenge in accessing petroleum products in the needed quantities and at the correct prices.”
The CS said that there are no gaps in the petroleum supply chain and the shortage has been induced by marketers in anticipation of higher prices after Thursday’s price review, breaching their licences which specify the amount suppliers should always have in reserves.
“Any entity that is not ready, able, or not willing to work within the framework of the laws of Kenya is invited to vacate this market,” CS Juma said.
This comes after Jean-Christian Bergeron, the CEO of oil retailer Rubis, was deported to France on Wednesday, after his work permit was revoked on account of causing economic sabotage through the induced fuel crisis caused by hoarding.
Earlier last week, oil marketers had protested the government’s delay to pay fuel subsidy dues which they said caused them financial strains. This led to an unprecedented countrywide fuel shortage and hiking transportation costs.
CS Juma, however, said that the issue has now been resolved. She said the ministry has received the subsidies from the government and will pay suppliers as soon as administrative processes are concluded.
The CS has not commented on which or how many oil marketing companies in the country are guilty of hoarding, but she said they have now been issued with show cause letters and will face dire consequences for their actions.