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Drivers queue for hours as Kenya reels from fuel shortage

by oyeniyi Aanuoluwapo
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Drivers queue for hours as Kenya reels from fuel shortage

Kenyan motorists endured another day of major fuel shortages on Monday, with hours-long queues and strict rationing at petrol stations as pumps across the country ran dry.

The crunch began last week in Kenya’s west following a row between oil marketing companies and the government over subsidy payments, sources said.

The government blamed hoarding and panic buying for the snaking lines at bowsers that worsened over the weekend, but oil dealers said they were owed outstanding subsidy payments from the state.

The government pays oil providers to subsidise costs at the pump for motorists, but these companies said they were waiting on four months of outstanding payments.

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At many locations in Nairobi and elsewhere, motorists able to find petrol after many hours in line with cars, motorcycles and minibuses were limited to a rationed amount.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said at the weekend that the government was working to settle all arrears owed to dealers.

But the government blamed hoarders for the shortfall and insisted it had sufficient reserves to supply the East African nation of nearly 50 million.

State depots were in possession of more than 69 million litres of petrol and 94 million litres of diesel as of Saturday, the Kenya Pipeline Company said.

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