The cost of fuel in Kenya hit a record high on Friday (Sep. 15) after the energy regulator revised pump prices, adding to the economic hardship facing millions of people.
The announcement by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority has brought the retail price of a litre of petrol to an unprecedented more than 200 Kenyan shillings ($1.36).
Kenyans already face a harsh cost of living crisis with rising prices for many staple goods, a raft of new taxes and a plunging shilling.
A series of opposition protests against the government of President William Ruto and his economic policies were staged this year, some descending into deadly violence.
Under the price regime that took effect Friday and will remain in force until October 14, a litre of petrol in the capital Nairobi has risen by almost 17 shillings to 211.64 shillings ($1.44), while diesel will cost 200.99 shillings.
In response, fares for matatus — minibuses used for transport by a large majority of Kenyans — will be going up too, with the Matatu Owners Association announcing a 20 percent increase nationwide, media reports said.
Government ministers have blamed in part the cut in oil output announced earlier this month by major producers Saudi Arabia and Russia that has sent global crude prices soaring to 10-month highs.
“There’s nothing much we can do… certainly the pain is heavy, it’s not going to be easy,” Energy Minister Davis Chirchir told parliament’s energy committee.
A series of anti-government protests were held in Kenya earlier this year.