By John Ikani
Kenya’s oil and gas regulator has announced the steepest fuel price hike in recent memory, prompting widespread anger among the country’s populace.
Overnight, the price of petrol surged to approximately 212 shillings ($1.40; £1.20) per litre in the capital city of Nairobi. Various fuel types witnessed price hikes ranging from 9% to 20%.
The hike announced by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority came despite nationwide protests in the past few months, decrying the soaring cost of living and the government’s economic strategies.
President William Ruto’s chief economic adviser, David Ndii, candidly expressed his concerns, stating, “It’s going to be ‘painful’ and ‘it may not work’.” He emphasized his commitment to not peddle false hope to Kenyans.
On social media platforms, both Mr. Ndii and the escalating fuel prices have become trending topics.
A Kenyan citizen lamented, “[Mr.] Ndii has told us the bitter truth that we are repugnant fools and stupid morons for having believed that people who used a wheelbarrow as a party symbol had any idea of fixing the country. It is our fault for believing them.”
Another concerned individual remarked, “Matatus [public minivans] use diesel, which is the means of transport for the poor, gone up by 21.32 shillings. The poor majority use kerosene, which has gone up by 33.13 shillings…”
It would be recalled that President Ruto eliminated fuel subsidies upon assuming office last September.