Nairobi motorists ignore call to block roads over fuel prices


Traffic congestion in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY
Traffic congestion in Nairobi. PHOTO| FILE

In Summary

  • Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai criticized the Motorists Association of Kenya for planning protests.
  • "Asking people to leave/ park their vehicles on the road whilst inconveniencing other motorists is not the solution," he told Waihiga Mwaura on Citizen TV's Day Break morning show.
  • Kimutai however confirmed that those who use public transport should expect an increase in fares across the country.

A Nairobi motorists protest that was scheduled to start at 7:30am on Wednesday failed to kick off as no vehicles were spotted parked on any of the roads.

The Motorist Association of Kenya had urged Kenyans to take part in demonstrations by stopping their vehicles in the middle of roads for three hours.

Also Read: Matatu fares to be increased in September over new tax levy

“Updated Notice Please note that the protest against VAT high fuel prices set for Wednesday 22 August 2018 is still on. However, time for parking your vehicles on the road has been extended by 3 hours. That is from 7:30 A.M to 10.30 A.M. Share Widely,” the association posted on Twitter.

Fuel prices are set to increase in September after the government introduced a 16percent levy.

The move has created disquiet in several quarters with public service vehicle (matatu) operators indicating that they will hike their fares within the next two weeks.

On Wednesday morning, Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai confirmed that those who use public transport should expect an increase in fares across the country.

“This fuel hike will hurt all Kenyans not just the motorists. As a business entity we will pass the extra adjustment of the price to the consumer- We will however be very fair,” he said during an interview on Citizen TV.

He however criticized the Motorists Association of Kenya for planning protests to oppose the government’s plan to increase fuel prices.

“What is important is to sit and discuss with those who have done it before. Asking people to leave/ park their vehicles on the road whilst inconveniencing other motorists is not the solution,” he told Waihiga Mwaura on the Day Break morning show.

Kimutai also added that the government should have explored other avenues for increasing revenue instead of increasing tax on fuel products.

The MOA chairman also dismissed claims that the matatu industry generates a lot of money and thus should not be increasing fares.

“It is a very expensive venture to get into, very risky and has minimal profits. However creative you could be, at the end of the day cash is involved- we do not get any subsidies,” he added.

 

 

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