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Relief for motorists as fuel prices drop

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By EDWIN OKOTH
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Motorists can now breathe a sigh of relief after the government announced a slight decrease in fuel prices.

Nairobi motorists will pay Sh2.21 less on a litre of petrol in the latest price revisions by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

However, the ERC announced a Sh0.39 and Sh0.29 increase in the price of a litre of diesel and kerosene respectively.

The prices include the recent 16 percent value added tax (VAT) imposed on petroleum products.

ERC director-general Pavel Oimeke was however quick to point out the possibility of further revisions on the tax that has led to a public outcry.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday proposed that the VAT be halved.

“The prices are inclusive of value added tax at 16 percent in line with the provisions of the VAT Act 2013. Nevertheless, the commission shall publish new prices whenever the rate of VAT is varied by law,” Mr Oimeke wrote in the price revision notice.

Nairobi motorists will now buy a litre of petrol at Sh125.59, diesel at Sh115.47 and kerosene at 97.70.

ERC gives monthly price revisions considering the weighted average cost of imported refined petroleum products, with the landed cost of petrol said to have dropped 2.33 percent while that of diesel rose by 0.40 percent in August.

The price of kerosene was however increased despite a 0.60 percent drop on its landed cost, perhaps to tame adulteration of fuel.

Before the VAT was loaded on September 1, super petrol was retailing at Sh113.73 while diesel, which is used in heavy machinery and power generation, was retailing at Sh102.74 per litre in Nairobi.

The marginal fall in petrol prices is a relief to motorists who were already overburdened by the heavy taxes on fuel.

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ERC’s announcement may quell jitters even as parliament resumes next week to consider the proposal by President Kenyatta to cut the VAT.

Petrol, diesel and kerosene carry a heavy load of levies and taxes, raising hundreds of billions in revenues for the government.

More than Sh60 billion was raised from the consumption of these three products in the first six months of 2016 alone, according to official data.

The levies include road maintenance levy (Sh18 per litre on both diesel and petrol), petroleum development levy (Sh0.40 per litre on all the three), petroleum regulatory levy (Sh0.05 per litre on kerosene and Sh0.12 per litre on petrol and diesel) and railway development levy (Sh0.50, Sh0.52 and Sh0.51 on every litre of petrol, diesel and kerosene respectively).

Meanwhile, the decision by President Kenyatta to reject the Finance Bill, 2018 has elicited sharp reactions from Kenyans.

Speaking to Nation, residents of Migori and Kisumu counties expressed their disappointment on the move by the President to send the bill back to parliament.

Benson Omondi, a barber in Migori Town, said: “I had hopes that the President will come to our rescue but he has demonstrated that he really doesn’t care about the interest of the common mwananchi.”

Migori Woman Representative Pamela Odhiambo urged parliament to rise up to the occasion and save Kenyans. “It is now up to the parliament to stand with the people,” she said.

In Kisumu, Mr Jack Owino, a sugarcane farmer in Chemelil, said: “As sugarcane farmers we are worried because the transporters have increased their prices.”



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Ruto’s Mt Kenya hustlers meet to fine-tune bottom-up economic model » Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya, May 9 – Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday hosted leaders from Mt Kenya region to discuss how to re-engineer the country’s economy.

Ruto said the meeting which was a follow-up to a similar forum held in Maasai Mara on May 1 deliberated on collaborative efforts to re-engineer government economic approach to one that promotes enterprise and fosters the empowerment of ordinary Kenyans.

“Through the ongoing consultations covering all regions and all sectors of the economy, we anticipate the generation of more jobs and expanded opportunities for those in the lower cadre will rid our country of poverty,” he tweeted.

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During an engagement with three representatives from each of the 11 counties from Mt Kenya region, it was agreed that more targeted and inclusive sessions should be held with Hustler Movement representatives, Members of the County Assemblies, religious and business leaders to follow as the country opens up.

The DP has been building the Hustler Movement, a political group championing for a bottom-up economic model, as his preferred platform for the 2022 presidential run.

At Maasai Mara, Ruto was accompanied by economist David Ndii who briefed the legislators on DP’s proposed ‘Bottom-Up Economic model’ which seeks to uplift the common citizen and provide them with an opportunity to have a say in government.

The DP on Friday held another meeting with over 50 individuals including a section of Mt Kenya where the politicians and experts from different sectors discussed economic revival, a subject Ruto has been propagating since the pandemic broke out in the country.

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Is Orengo charting his path away from Raila?

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History of intense rivalry between him and Opposition leader, alleged sabotage in 2013 and 2017 elections and talk of betrayal ahead of 2022.

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Police Deploy Chopper to Rescue Students Lost in Forest for 4 Days –

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Three students who went missing after a forest adventure in Mt Kenya, Karatina, Nyeri County, were finally rescued on Saturday after four days in the jungle.

Four days without food, the boys told members of the press that they survived by the grace of God.

17-year-old Anthony Muhoro, Jackson Karuri, 17, and David Mukoma Kinyua, 20, went missing on May 4.

Muhoro is a Form Three student at Gitunduti Secondary School, Karuri is also a Form Three but at Ihwagi Secondary School while Kinyua is a student at Nyeri National Polytechnic.

Also found alive were two dogs that were in the company of the three when they were reported missing.

Read: Missing Businesswoman Caroline Wanjiku Maina’s Body Found In A Kajiado Mortuary

The rescue team comprised of police officers who after four days of futile search deployed a National Police Service chopper to locate the students who were on the verge of despair.

In the Saturday search, the Nation reports, the officers teamed up with Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service rangers to comb the forest in search of the students.

In an interview with the local publication, Muhoro revealed that they were hiking when they lost their way back home.

“It was by the grace of God that we survived for four days without food and other necessities. We thought we were going to die and kept praying,” Muhoro said in a phone interview.

Read Also: Missing Thika Millionare Julius Gitau Found Alive – Police

“We literally groped in the dark after losing our way back home. We survived on water and wild fruits since we had not carried any food.”

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According to the student, the trio entered the forest through Ragati gate but couldn’t trace their way home hours later.

“We found ourselves deep into the dense woods. I don’t know how far it was from the edges of the forest but we were exhausted,” he said.

“We could not even tell the time since it was constantly dark. That is when panic set in.”

They could not communicate with anyone back at home as their mobile phones lost signals.

Read Also: Son To Murdered Kiambaa Family Reported Missing

“We started moving in the forest, literary going in circles in a desperate attempt to find our way out,” Muhoro said.

Days later as they moved around the forest with the hope of finding an exit, they ‘miraculously’ met some police officers and forest rangers who alerted the rest of the search team.

Mathira East Police Commander James Baraza, who led the operation, said the trio’s disappearance was reported at Karatina Police Station the same day they went missing and a search operation launched immediately.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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