URA seeks probe over fuel hoarding

A petrol station at Nakawa yesterday. URA blames hoarding for the high fuel prices in Uganda. Photo/Stephen Otage

What you need to know:

  • Mr Solomon Muyita, the spokesperson for the Energy ministry, attributes the shortage to vessels docking in Mombasa which delayed the delivery of fuel.

The tax body has urged government to cause an investigation into the destination of fuel imported by small companies on grounds that they suspect they are hoarding to create fuel shortage to hike pump prices.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Ibrahim Bbosa, the Assistant Commissioner Corporate Affairs, who is also the spokesperson of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), said this time taxes on fuel cannot be blamed for the increasing fuel pump prices in the country since they have not been increased.
“The last time I compared the fuel prices between Uganda and Kenya, the difference was marginal. The taxes have not changed. The taxes of last year are the same this financial year. The price increments did not start this year. There are many other things we are not willing to accept,” he said.

Mr Bbosa’s statement was prompted by this publication’s story at the weekend of how fuel pump prices in Kisumu and Nakuru, where Uganda gets fuel, are relatively low between Kshs114.7 and Kshs130 per litre, which is equivalent to Shs3,785 and Shs4,290, respectively, yet in Uganda the prices have since doubled.
In Nairobi yesterday petrol pump price stood at Ksh159.5 (Shs 5,263), while  Diesel was at  Ksh140.7 (Shs 4, 643). However, Kenya in April resolved to pay fuel subsidies in a programme that has softened the blow of increasing prices while further straining public finances. 

The prices of crude oil per barrel have surged to about $110 this year from as low as $40 in 2020 globally.
Mr Solomon Muyita, the spokesperson for the Energy ministry, attributed the current fuel shortage to the vessels docking in Mombasa which delayed the delivery of fuel, exposing the market prices to be determined by forces of demand and supply.
Asked when government hopes to stabilise the fuel prices, he said it would depend on the volume of fuel, which will be imported to stabilise the prices. 

By yesterday, Shell and Total, the biggest fuel dealers in the country, were selling both Petrol and Diesel at a retail pump price of between Shs6,000 and Shs6,500 per litre.