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Matatu operators decry the high cost of fuel

Drivers and public service vehicle operators in Nyahururu have decried the latest rise in the price of fuel following an announcement by Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).

A spot check by KNA in Nyahururu town has revealed that the increase is greatly affecting all spheres of life.

Peter Kariuki, a supervisor at a matatu Sacco named Nuclear Investment Company, shared with us that they are anticipating a rise in transport costs. He added that the number of travelers has reduced causing the level of work to go down.

“We are torn between hiking the fare and grounding our vehicles because the cost of fuel is becoming unbearable. Some matatu owners have actually started withdrawing their vehicles from our Sacco while others want to convert their passenger matatus into parcel vans.

“We shall go into deliberations with other Saccos around to see how we can overcome the stalemate,” said Kariuki.

Ruto, a matatu driver said that they are not planning to increase fares since the commuters will not accept the new prices.

According to him, there will be an increase in the cost of life since at most everything is dependent on fuel.

A section of Bodaboda riders lamented that the rise in fuel tax will highly affect their business with some opting to venture into other fields of work.

“A lot of people will prefer walking if prices increase. We are tempted to start other jobs, “said Mwai one of the riders.

Residents of Nyahururu have pleaded with the government to reinstate subsidies on fuel commodities in order to relieve them from the high cost of living.

These new prices are set to run until the June 14, 2023 until the next review. However, people are speculating that there are no chance of these prices decreasing.

EPRA has announced a tax increase on petroleum and petroleum products. The fuel taxation has increased to 16 % from the previous 8%. Initially, petrol was retailing at Sh178.84 and diesel at Sh162.40. Currently, the two commodities are retailing at Sh182.04 and Sh168.14 respectively in the area.

By Grace Wambui and Mary Kariuki


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