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Excitement, concern meet latest drop in pump prices

 The price of super petrol fell by Ksh 5.30 to retail at Kshs 193.84.

Kenyans are torn between praise and condemnation of the government over the latest monthly fuel prices review.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), on Sunday, April 14, announced the fifth consecutive reduction in pump prices, with the largest margins in five years.

The price of super petrol fell by Ksh 5.30 to retail at Kshs 193.84.

Meanwhile, Kenyans will now buy a litre of diesel for Ksh 180 and kerosene for Ksh 170 after a Ksh 10 and Ksh 18 drop respectively.

President William Ruto has attributed the change to unpopular but necessary decisions taken by his Kenya Kwanza government.

“Unga was around Ksh 200 but today it’s almost Ksh 100. The dollar was Ksh 160, it now goes for around Ksh 120 while the fuel has come down by Ksh 10. We are making the right decision, Kenya will change right before our eyes," he said.

A section of Kenyans, however, don’t share in his optimism.

Some Kenyans on X, interrogated the steep reduction in prices fearing that it could be stemming from political pressure and the need to calm a restless citizenry concerned about the high cost of basic commodities.

“It’s the politics of manufactured crisis, then later pretending to have a solution to the problem at the expense of poor people,” said one X user, @Girimbaa.

@waksmaina believes that “prices are most likely going up in the next review”. This, considering possible escalation in the Middle East tensions thus catalysing global logistical nightmare.

Some of the Kenyans expressed dissatisfaction with high price hikes that are usually followed by piecemeal reductions. They have challenged President Ruto to reinstate the pump prices to where they were at the start of his presidency.

In August 2022, when Ruto won the presidential election, super petrol, diesel, and kerosene retailed at Ksh 159, Ksh140, and Ksh 127 respectively. 

This was due to a government-instituted fuel subsidy program which President Ruto removed leading to the sharp rise in pump prices.

Kenyans have also faulted the decision to significantly reduce the price of kerosene while that of super petrol was only reduced marginally. 

This, they opine, will further entice unscrupulous retailers to sell adulterated fuel.

Some Kenyans, on the other hand, remain eager to see the positive impact this reduction will have on the economy, especially in resolving the high cost of living.

@Paul_Muite says, “Fare should also come down” while @MutethiaKe wrote, “Let them keep doing what they are doing. Good path we are taking as a country.”

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