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Fuel dealers resume distribution after police protection promise

Fuel dealers had grounded their tankers citing police harassment after the Energy Regulatory Commission enforced movement restriction on fuel trucks after 6.30pm/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – Independent Petroleum Dealers have agreed to resume distribution of fuel after a meeting with the Energy and Petroleum ministry officials.

The dealers had Monday grounded their tankers citing police harassment after the Energy Regulatory Commission enforced restriction on fuel trucks after 6.30pm.

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter says the truck drivers will within a week get letters to assure them that they will not be arrested for violating the dusk to dawn ban, adding police will escort trucks to safer areas after 6.30pm.

“That is not the final decision…as you are aware, the energy bill and petroleum bill is before Senate. We want to see how we can capture those concerns so that nobody will harass them,” said Keter.

The Association’s Chairman Joseph Karanja had earlier told Capital Business that the strike will go on until the Energy Regulatory Commission suspends the enactment of the law that was enforced following the Naivasha tragedy where a tanker exploded claiming over 40 lives.

Karanja says the association commands over 400 trucks transporting 4 million tonnes of fuel daily. However, sector statistics show the independent dealers control 5 percent of the fuel market in Kenya.

No petrol station in Nairobi had received fuel as of yesterday afternoon, with the major fuel distributors also withdrawing their trucks for fear of attacks from drivers participating in the strike.

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