President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned of further sanctions on oil marketers who have been allocating higher shares of their fuel imports to neighbouring countries leading to outages in the local market.
Mr Kenyatta accused the dealers of breaching the traditional fuel allocations where the local market is supposed to get higher percentages of fuel imported compared to the transit market.
Dealers traditionally allocate 60 percent of their fuel for the local market and reserve 40 percent for the neighbouring countries but have since March reversed this allocation and given the 60 percent to the transit market leading to outages locally.
Allocation of higher shares for the transit market has seen the oil marketers breach requirements on minimum stocks and starve small dealers of fuel supplies, prompting the shortage that hit Kenya in March.
Mr Kenyatta said it was wrong for the dealers to push for prompt compensation yet they are deliberately starving the local market of the critical commodity, nearly paralysing transport and businesses.
“It is wrong for some people to take subsidies money which has been gotten through taxing Kenyans and instead of giving Kenyans fuel, they go to sell it in other countries at a higher price… we are watching you and we shall take a step,’’ Mr Kenyatta said on Sunday in his Labor Day speech.
The marketers have since March increased the fuel shares for the transit market driven by higher prices, unlike in Kenya where they have to wait for months to get compensation from the State.
The warning comes barely a month after the deportation of a CEO of one of the oil marketers, the summoning of other CEOs by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and slashing of fuel allocated to some dealers who increased the shares of fuel meant the regional markets.
The State and oil marketers have since March traded counter-accusations over the shortage with the government accusing dealers of hoarding fuel prompting the outages.