Tougher times ahead as Matatu owners hike fares

Kenyans are staring at tougher economic times after Matatu Owners Association announced a planned fare hike to be from Wednesday, July 5 following the recent increase in fuel prices brought about by the Finance Act 2023.

“The sharp increase in fuel costs, coupled with other operational expenses, including an increase in the cost of spare parts, loan interests among others has forced us to reevaluate our pricing structure to ensure the continued sustainability of prices .” the statement issued by Matatu Owners Association stated.

This now adds to the burden Kenyans are facing from the high cost of commodities and services.

According to the Matatu Owners Association, the fares will increase between KES 10 to 30 for areas around Nairobi, KES 10 to 50 in Metropolis towns, KES 30 to 70 in coastal regions, KES 20 for Nyanza and Rift Valley town services. For long-distance travel, rates are set to increase from KES 100 to 200.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on Friday, 30, announced new fuel prices for July 2023 despite a High Court order issued by Justice Mugure Thande suspending the Finance Act, 2023.

EPRA’s upward revision of prices was necessitated by the doubling of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel from 8 percent to 16 percent which was recommended by the Finance Bill, 2023.

Even after a Court’s order suspending the implementation of the Act, a spot check by NTV shows fuel stations still selling at high prices.

In Nairobi, super petrol retails at KES 195.53 per liter, diesel at KES 179.67, and kerosene at KES 173.44 per liter.

“We urge the government to subsidize fuel services for PSV operators and alleviate the burden on both matatu operators and passengers. “ the statement by Matatu owners added.

They also requested the public to be patient with them while they looked for alternative ways to spare them from having to delve deeper into their pockets.

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