KIGALI - Ministers in charge of East African Affairs have discussed the ongoing fuel crisis in the region as a way of finding a solution to the problem that has affected the region despite the general decrease of its price on the global market.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, the Minister for the East African Community, Monique Mukaruriza, said that she had discussed with her counterparts on how fuel trucks can be facilitated through those countries.
“We have discussed with the ministers of the East Africa Member States of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya and agreed to facilitate the fuel trucks into the country,” said Mukaruriza who is also the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers.
According to Antoine Ruvebana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Investment Promotion, the trucks which he said were being loaded yesterday, are expected in the country on Thursday this week.
The fuel expected in the country after the arrival of the trucks totals to 12,000,000 litres.
The region experienced fuel shortages since the beginning of last month, a shortage that is attributed to the reluctance by the major suppliers in Kenya to purchase it in large quantities in anticipation of a further fall in the prices of the product.
Another cause for the shortage according to Ruvebana, is the ongoing rehabilitation of the oil pipeline in the eastern part of Kenya and the problem of pirates on the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, the commerce ministry, as a short term remedy has issued directives to local dealers not to refill vehicles that will be found with at least a quarter of their tanks with fuel.
The directive which was circulated in different media houses for publication, only exonerates public transporters.
The ministry also prohibits any price increment on oil products by filling stations and also stocking fuel in plastic cans and the ministry requested the police to ensure that all these directives are implemented.
Despite the crisis, the government has maintained the same pump prices throughout the country, which led to its sacrifice of almost 60 percent of revenues for fuel importation.