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Fact check: Gladys Boss Shollei manipulates Uganda facts in defence of Kenya fuel prices

Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei went on record on September 17, 2023, claiming Uganda’s fuel prices were higher than Kenya’s; and Ugandans were not protesting over the fact unlike their Kenyan counterparts.

“Here in Kenya, we are selling fuel at Sh 211.6, and in Uganda, it is Sh 216. Uganda’s fuel is costlier than Kenyans, why are they not demonstrating on the streets?” said Shollei, also the Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly.

She made her sentiments known amid uproar after the Kenya Kwanza government increased the cost of petroleum products- super petrol, kerosene, and diesel- to historic highs past the Sh 200 mark to Sh 211.64, Sh 202.13, and Sh 201 respectively.

“Kenya imports all petroleum products. We are like other non-oil-producing countries, susceptible to fluctuations in the international price of oil. We can mitigate this by increasing production of exports, thus strengthening the shilling, enabling us to afford imports like oil,” said Ms Shollei earlier today afternoon.

Deputy Speaker Shollei is part of the Kenya Kwanza brigade defending the steep increase of fuel as Kenyans continue to struggle with the high cost of living and increased unemployment as businesses shut down in Kenya to take their operations elsewhere.

However, Ms Shollei did not speak factually. Nairobi News fact-checked her statements and found that the cost of fuel in Kenya is indeed higher than Uganda’s, contrary to what Ms Shollei claimed.

This was proved after Nairobi News commissioned a photo of a fuel prices sign board at a Kampala, Uganda, fuel station on September 18, 2023. In Uganda, the price of diesel retails at UGX 4,970 (Sh 191.15) a litre while petrol retails for UGX 5,410 (Sh 208.07). Uganda’s fuel, in fact, is cheaper than in Kenya.

In response, a host of Kenya Kwanza allied politicians have been defending the government’s position while others told off Kenyans for complaining. The Cabinet Secretary for Investments, Trade and Industry, Moses Kuria, went as far as telling those complaining to drill their own oil wells. Earlier, he had also told Kenyans to brace themselves for continued increases in the cost of fuel until it stabilizes in February 2024.

“Global crude prices are on an upward trajectory. For planning purposes expect pump prices to go up by Sh10 every month till February,” said CS Kuria.

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