Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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Most pump attendants in most Kitale gas stations witnessed less activityy after they ran out of stock. However, the station managers said the situion would be normalized soon. [Photo | Leonard Wamalwa]
Motorists and other fuel users within Kitale town and its environs are experiencing a dire shortage of the commodity a few days after the Energy Regulatory Commission cut down its prices by at least eight shillings.
Many filling stations within the town have run out of Super and Regular petrol together with Kerosene as many of them have only Diesel in their pumps.
Managers of most of the stations visited by journalists said that the fuel they had was finished over the weekend.
It was established that the shortage was as a result of most of the dealers cutting down their orders after anticipating that the prices would fall to avoid high losses if they stock many liters of fuel in their pumps.
“This shortage is being experienced because most of the operators had hint that the prices might fall and thus they did not order for the commodity normally and later after the prices were announced, there is now a jam of orders at the Kenya Pipeline and that is why we are not having fuel here,” said Leonard Kanegeni a manager in one of the leading fuel stations within the town.
However, the manager insisted that there is enough fuel at Pipeline and thus consumers should not panic as the fuel will soon start flowing normally at the new prices after the flow of traffic at the supply center has been eased.
At the same time some of the daily consumers of petrol in the town including taxi operators and motorcyclists have bitterly complained about the shortage accusing the sellers that they are hoarding the fuel because the prices were reduced.
Even though they appreciated the lowering of the prices, they felt the move had not helped them much and thus called upon the government to ensure normal flow of fuel at all times whether when prices have been reduced or increased.
“Despite the fact that we are happy the prices have been reduced, we are not getting the same fuel. It can take you about 20 minutes moving around the town from one pump to another looking for fuel and thus in the process we lose some of our customers,” said one of the Taxi drivers in the middle of the town.
They however insisted that the dealers had deliberately refused to sell the fuel to wait until when the prices will rise again before they can let it flow normally.
“They have the Petrol but they are just refusing to sell to us because if it were that the prices had been raised we could not be missing fuel in this town. Therefore these sellers are just refusing to sell,” another motorist shouted during the interview.
Virtually all the stations within the town are selling at relatively a uniform price with Super petrol selling at Kshs 110.50, Regular at Kshs 107.60 and Diesel at Kshs 99.70 while Kerosene is sold at Kshs 76.50.
The prices of fuel are reviewed every 14th day of the month and thus the dealers always anticipate the rise or fall of the price hence start acting accordingly to the leakage of the anticipation from the commission.
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