Fuel crisis bites hard

Taxi and Boda Boda operators in Kampala have condemned the sharp rise in prices of fuel in Uganda, saying it is compelling them to increase fares for passengers.

A section of the Taxi and Boda operators say they have been hit hard by the crisis and it is causing a rift between them and their customers.

We are suffering, some fuel stations have contradicting prices,they pin up a different price but when you go for a refill,you get another price that is even higher and customers do not want to increase the fares. We want government to intervene in this matter,’ says Joel Ssemogerere a Taxi conductor at old taxi park

“When you tell a customer to pay more money they say you are cheating them or complain,We are making losses.We ask the relevant authorities to take over this crisis by sorting out the truck drivers at the border,” Musa Semakula a boda boda rider said

For close to two weeks now, fuel prices have been skyrocketing by up to 1,500 to 2,500 shillings per litre,depending on the fuel station.  In some places around Kampala, prices have gone up to as high as 6,500 or 7,500 shillings for petrol and 5,400 for diesel per litre by today.

This has been attributed to a strike by all truck drivers at the Malaba and Busia border points who parked their trucks in protest of new Covid-19 testing guidelines that require double testing in Uganda and Kenya as well. 

Some fuel dealers claim that Kenya ,which supplies fuel to Uganda from Arab countries, has also been experiencing a huge fuel deficit as they have not imported the product in recent days.

The Ministry of Energy released a statement on Friday last week indicating that the demand for fuel had been increasing even before the strike by truckers.

Fuel crisis bites hard

Fuel dealers and operators have explained the rationale behind the sharp rise in prices of fuel in Uganda.

Fuel station operators from Total Energies , Rubis among others have attributed the sharp rise to scarcity of the product and high demand.

“We don’t have stock and the problem is from the border because trucks are not entering ,Sales have doubled because many stations have no stock for instance Namugoona and Nansana stations are completely dry, We just have to redirect customers,” says Fred Nairongo, the station manager at Total Energies Nakulabye

“The double testing of drivers at the border,the drivers coming from the other side with a negative result and they are being tested again here,and they charge them 30 dollars . The second is the situation with Kenya ,for the past four days they have not received fuel from Arab countries, so they are hounding what they have,”says Denis Acuka of Rubis 

Some fuel dealers have referred all questions to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, while officials at the ministry either refused to comment on the subject.

Uganda Revenue Authority says they had cleared almost 200 trucks, 82 of them at Busia alone by last weekend.