Matatu owners to block roads in protest of fuel levies

A Matatu operating in Mombasa./COURTESY

Nairobi,KENYA:Matatu owners in Nairobi are planning to bring the city to a standstill by parking their cars on busy roads to demonstrate the increased fuel levies.

According to Motorist Association of Kenya, the operation is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 22nd August and will last for 3 hours from 7:30 to 10:30 to coincide with the morning rush.

“The fuel prices are already too high and the 16 per cent is unnecessary. ERC have been increasing prices every month since the election. Whenever the government wants to raise money, fuel becomes easier target. Motorists have rejected these new taxes. They will be counterproductive. We’ll park on the road on Wednesday on major roads across the country. We start at 7:30 am and end at 10;30 am” charged Mr. Murima the chairperson of Motorist Association.

With the treasury planning to implement the 16% VAT on petroleum products on September 1 having deferred it for two years the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has condemned the increament citing increase in inflation by over 4%.

“Fuel being the main input in our energy. Intensive sectors, the projected rise in pump price will result in an increase in the cost of production and manufacturing of commodities by both small and big businesses, an increase in cost of household consumption of goods and services,” noted KEPSA on their press release.

The move by Motorist Association if carried out is likely to inconvenience thousands of commuters in Nairobi. The strategy of parking vehicles in demonstration of fuel levies was once carried out in German where the levies went down immediately. It remains unclear if the strategy will work in Kenya.