Kenyan motorists residing along the Namanga border move to Tanzania in search of affordable fuel.
This comes after the consistent rise in fuel prices in Kenya. The Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria, further indicated that the price would continue increasing by Ksh 10 every month till February 2024.
After the discovery that Tanzania has cheaper fuel costs, motorists as well as privately owned vehicles are opting for it. In addition, PSVs and heavy commercial trucks are among the vehicles in line to Tanzania for cheaper fuel.
“Bei ya Tanzania ina bei nafuu kushinda yetu Kenya. Tunajaza full tank ili ituskume angalau kwa sababu bei ya Kenya iko juu,” a car owner mentioned.
Most of those opting for Tanzanian prices are after the cheaper cost of fuel. They fill their tanks which is in the hope that it would take them some time before they need to refill.
Cost of Fuel in Tanzania
At a petrol station in the Namanga side of Tanzania, a litre of petrol retails at TZS 3,297 (Ksh.193.49). At the exchange rate of TZS 17 to a Kenyan shilling, a litre of petrol now retails at Ksh 206. This means that local petrol consumers save around Ksh.18 per litre after purchasing from Tanzania.
Diesel retails at TZS 3,343, which translates to Ksh.196.19. With the mentioned exchange rate, Kenyan diesel consumers save a minimum of Ksh.4 shillings per litre.
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Kenyans’ realization of cheaper prices in Tanzania is affecting the retailers in Kenya near the Namanga border. Most are complaining of a sharp decline in the number of customers purchasing fuel. The petrol stations are deserted and left with little to no activity.
“Wengi wana prefer kuvuka border. Sasa sisi hapa tumebaki hatuna kazi. Na vile bei ya maisha imepanda tutaenda wapi?” said an attendant at the petrol station.
The trend with the Namanga border is likely to continue after the CS explicitly mentioned that prices would continue to increase.