Kenyans could be staring at a grim five-day long weekend as the country stares at another countrywide fuel shortage just as things were getting back to normal following a two-week shortage crisis in early April.
This time, the crisis is being attributed to disagreements over import costs between Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and the franchised retailers who buy their products.
According to a source at the Ministry of Energy that spoke to Citizen Digital, the OMCs are only supplying fuel stations that they own on the premises that they will incur loses should they sell to other retailers.
This standoff has created another artificial shortage in the country with many parts of the country reporting little to no fuel at the pumps including Kisii, Eldoret, Busia and some parts of Nairobi.
Our source further revealed that the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has taken up the matter since they are charged with setting the prices in the country and have asked the oil marketing companies to explain the increased import costs that they are alleging were incurred.
Further, none-franchised dealers in the country are also claiming that they are not protected by the regulator from the oil marketing companies.
This standoff comes a fortnight after the Ministry of Energy reprimanded oil marketing companies for hoarding fuel which resulted in the deportation of Rubis CEO Jean-Christian Bergeron and saw over 10 executives questioned at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations over possible charges of economic sabotage.
The government, on April 14, 2022 issued stern warnings to OMCs whom it accused of creating an artificial shortage in anticipation of a price increase.