BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,16TH SEPT 2021-President Uhuru Kenyatta should explain why the government is hellbent on increasing the pain and suffering of Kenyan workers with increase in fuel prices, Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli has said.
In a statement on Thursday, Atwoli said the government should prepare for unrest from all quarters.
“We would like Uhuru to comment and make a statement on this unfair perpetual increase in fuel prices. Unless their policies place Kenyan workers at the centre then they should prepare for unrest from all quarters,” he said.
Atwoli said Cotu is opposed to the perpetual increase in fuel prices and would like to urge the government to be innovative with how it raises taxes.
“At the same time, we would like to remind Uhuru that Kenyan workers are suffering and that he should not tolerate the impunity, punishment and the affront towards Kenyan workers by bodies such as EPRA,” he added.
The rise of fuel is as a result of increased taxes on all the three products notably VAT, which has gone up to 9.98 per cent on petrol from eight per cent.
This has pushed taxes on Super petrol, commonly used by motorists, to Sh58.81 a litre from a total Sh56.42 per litre in March this year.
The government has also increased taxes on diesel, which is widely used in the transport, agricultural sector and electricity generation, with a litre now attracting a total of Sh46.46 in taxes, up from Sh44.79.
A litre of kerosene, which is common in low income households for cooking and lighting, now attracts taxes totalling Sh41.14.
On Tuesday, transporters warned of a hike in fares, which has already been effected by some Public Service Vehicle operators in Nairobi.
“It is justified. We have gotten to where we have never been before. The costs will definitely be passed to the public,” Matatu Owners Association chairman, Simon Kimutai, told the Star on the phone.
He said the industry which had been brought to its knees by the pandemic is still making losses despite carrying full capacity, a situation worsened by the fuel price increase.
Kenyans should also expect a jump in electricity charges, which are affected by an increase in fuel, mainly diesel.
“All aspects of generation are affected so it will go up,” an official at Kenya Power told the Star.
Manufacturers are equally expected to pass the cost of production to consumers which will see prices of goods go up.