Members of Parliament (MPs) have asked government to intervene in the skyrocketing fuel prices, saying businesses are starting to crumble due to the high transport costs.
The MPs who addressed journalists on Monday, 29 November 2021 in the Members’ Lounge at Parliament say that whereas fuel prices have been increasing for months, government has remained silent as far as giving a strategy is concerned.
Uganda’s fuel prices are highest in East Africa at Shs 4,590 per litre followed by Burundi’s Shs4,290. Tanzania has the lowest price of Shs 3,780 per litre, Rwanda Shs 4,060, and Kenya, Shs4, 180.
Crude oil prices have been rising fast for the past eight months following the opening of most economies from the COVID-19 lockdown.
Fuel demand shot up fast with limited production and although regular oil production has started, there is still a gap to cover.
Now MPs say that the country is in a crisis and government needs to give a strategy to intervene.
Hon Denis Sekabira (NUP, Katikamu County North) said that because of the high fuel prices, prices of goods and services are getting out of hand and adding that it was ironic that top government officials and politicians were in the fuel business.
The Katikamu legislator was shocked that whereas fuel to the DR Congo (DRC) transits through Uganda, fuel prices in the country are higher than those in DRC.
“It means everything is going to be bought at higher prices with the pinch going to the common Ugandan who use public transport. The other challenge is government officials who are owning oil supplying companies. Government should come in and help people,” he said.
Hon Gaffa Mbwatekamwa (NRM, Igara County West) says that whilst Members of Parliament have also been affected, it is the common citizens who have been cheated. He says prices of oil have skyrocketed and Shs 10,000 that used to buy two and a half litres can barely get you two litres.
“The President, Ministers, and many other leaders are silent on the matter of fuel, but Members of Parliament can also now not handle fueling their cars. Some people are jumping on motorbikes, while others are parking their cars. I have personally decided to park my car and use a scooter which consumes less fuel,” Mbwatekamwa said.
Mbwatekamwa said it is time for government to use the fuel reserves to provide stability for the country. He also says Parliament should debate the matter of the high rising fuel prices so that a solution can be got.
Eng Ronald Balimwezo (NUP, Nakawa Division East) says Ugandans are failing to meet their basic needs because of the high costs of things.
He says the dealings between Uganda National Oil Company and Stabex, an oil and gas marketing firm should be investigated since it could create a monopoly.