NAIROBI, Kenya, April 4 (Reuters) – Deputy President William Ruto on Monday bemoaned the late payment of fuel subsidies to oil markers, blaming “monopolistic cartels, economic saboteurs and incompetent officials” for a nationwide fuel crisis.
Ruto said the crisis, which deepened over the weekend, could have been averted if officials tasked with distributing subsidies had done so in a timely and efficient manner.
Ruto made the comments Monday, shortly after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed five bills, including the amendment, which freed up another 34.4 billion shash for fuel stabilization.
There is no need to wait for a crisis to unfold, but there are enough funds available from the petroleum levy to support the subsidy program.
“This should have been addressed before we were in the crisis we are already in and you don’t actually need an addendum to address this issue as there was already money in the Petroleum Development Fund,” Ruto, who was reported by Allies was flanked in the Kenyan Kwanza formation, including ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi, explained.
DP Ruto further claimed that the petroleum levy fund was being diverted to other uses and urged officials he accused to respond to audit requests.
“The Auditor General has raised questions about the diversion of this money to areas not intended for the fund. Why was the money diverted? Why was it diverted to government agencies? Why was it diverted to private companies?” the DP posed.
The Sh34.4 billion made available as a subsidy to oil marketers aims to protect Kenyans from high fuel costs caused by the deepening global energy crisis.
However, there were reports that refunds from the government-owned oil marketers were piling up over a four-month period, prompting the latest move to hoard the commodity.
The nationwide gasoline shortage continued to be felt on Monday, although the government warned market participants not to hoard the commodity.
An immediate effect of the acute shortage of the all-important source of energy was seen in the way various gas stations began to limit sales, restricting motorists to a maximum of Sh2,000 worth of fuel.