As Fuel Prices Skyrocket, Kenyans Unearth Videos Of Ruto, UDA Leaders Blaming Uhuru For High Pump Prices
Kenyans have taken to social media to express their anger after the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on Thursday significantly increased the prices of Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene by Ksh.16.96, Ksh.21.32 and Ksh.33.13, per litre, respectively.
As expected, the brunt of their wrath was aimed at President William Ruto and his government whom Kenyans accuse of overburdening them with higher fuel prices on top of new taxes occasioned by the passing of the controversial Finance Act that contained the infamous Housing Fund.
To add to their displeasure is the fact that just a little over a year ago, then-candidate Ruto and his UDA honchos were attacking former President Uhuru Kenyatta over rising fuel prices as they promised to rein in the skyrocketing prices which they claimed was a corruption scheme by the government of the day.
Social media platforms are now full of netizens re-sharing videos of Dr Ruto and his allies openly blaming Mr. Kenyatta for Kenya’s economic challenges in the run-up to the August 2022 polls.
The Kenya Kwanza frontman, on numerous occasions, vowed to prioritise and address Kenya’s state of economy once he occupied the House on the Hill. Still, a large portion of Kenyans believe that Ruto has failed in his endeavour in his first year in office.
As the saying goes, “the internet never forgets” and Kenyans wasted no time in reposting videos of Ruto and his allies making hollow commitments to Kenyans.
“These people don’t understand the damage they are doing to the people and economy of Kenya na hizi taxes wanaongeza usiku na mchana,” Ruto said while speaking at the Sugoi Roadside Market along Turbo Road in the days leading up to the polls.
In another campaign forum, Ruto blamed the rising cost of fuel on cartels and wondered how Kenya’s prices were higher than Uganda’s yet they import their fuel through Kenya.
“Ile cartel ya ufisadi iko pale ndio inasababisha bei ya mafuta kuzidi bei ya mafuta Uganda. Na hiyo mafuta inapitia Kenya ikienda Uganda. Jameni unaeza kutueleza vipi ati bei ya mafuta hapa Kenya, ambapo ni karibu na mahali mafuta inatoka, iko bei juu kuliko Uganda na Kampala inachukua mafuta kutoka hapa kwetu,” he said.
“That is the explanation Kenyans want to know. The corruption cartels at the Ministry of Petroleum should explain to Kenyans why dealers have increased their profits from Ksh.9 to Ksh.12.”
Prime Cabinet Secretary (CS) Musalia Mudavadi was likewise brought into the discussion after an old video of him slamming EPRA for announcing fuel price hikes resurfaced.
“The Ministry of Energy has failed Kenyans and should take responsibility for this unpleasant situation. They should take cognizant of the fact that it is the ordinary citizen who bears the brunt of high petroleum prices,” Mudavadi says in the video.
“Kenyans are in great distress. Families do not know when the next meal will come from and even when they get a meal it is not enough to satisfy the household needs. Clearly, with the increase in the price of fuel, the situation is likely to get worse as prices of food soar.”
Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro, a close Ruto ally, was also not spared from the backlash.
“It is now so despicable, insensitive, inconsiderate for the government that we elected that their pre-occupation every day is to add the cost of living to the people of Kenya and I want to remind the President (Uhuru) tafadhali anagalia Wakenya wale walikuchagua; wanaumia,” Nyoro was captured saying in another past video.
With the government blaming international forces for the rise in the cost of fuel and subsequent cost of living, many also unearthed videos of Ruto slamming Uhuru when the latter said the Ukraine-Russia war was to blame for Kenya’s economic conundrum.
On May 1, 2022, during Labour Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi, Uhuru attributed the high cost of living to the Russia-Ukraine conflict that led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
“There is this war we don’t even understand that has caused fuel and food prices to go up in other countries and brought us other challenges… I, Uhuru Kenyatta, surely, am I in Ukraine? Was I in Wuhan when Covid came?” quipped Mr. Kenyatta.
Dr. Ruto dismissed Uhuru saying; “This whole story about Ukraine is a lost cause… the challenge of cost of living is not too scientific. The challenge of the cost of living is increasing agricultural productivity, period.”
As Kenyans brace themselves for tougher times ahead, they will keep looking back and reminiscing about the campaign promises that many believed would come to fruition sooner rather than later.