We are not miracle workers, Ruto says on fuel prices

President William Ruto has asked Kenyans not to blame him for the high cost of fuel, saying the issue was beyond him.

Similarly, the Head of State said he should also not be credited with the latest reduction in fuel costs, which saw pump prices drop to Sh212.36 in Nairobi from Sh217 for super petrol and Sh201.47 from Sh203.47 for diesel.

“I told you prices of fuel will come down. I am telling you again, and the prices will reduce further next month. But do not clap for me… because, I have not done anything to reduce that price. I have done nothing… You have only helped to clap for me, but there is nothing I have done,” President Ruto said in Kisii on Saturday.

“This is because I am not the one who increases or reduces the price of fuel. There are people who own oil there, they bring us the prices. The only thing I am announcing to you is that those who bring that fuel have reduced the prices and it will continue doing so,” he added.

He said the President has definitive roles and there is work he cannot do.

While Kenya does not produce its own oil, there is, however, the part the government plays in the pricing, given its taxes and levies, which can be reviewed.

An analysis by the Business Daily in September showed that taxes in Kenya account for 40 per cent of the cost of every litre of super petrol and diesel, compared to 14 per cent in Illinois — the state with the highest fuel taxation in the US — and South Africa at 30 per cent. Ethiopia does not tax fuel.

Though Tanzania has the cheapest fuel in the region, the ratio of taxes as a percentage of the pump price ties with Kenya at 40 per cent.

Kenya charges seven levies and two taxes on fuel and last week doubled Value Added Tax (VAT) on the commodity to 16 percent, further increasing the taxation component for every litre of super petrol, diesel and kerosene.

In his speech, Dr Ruto suggested that promising reduction of prices will be a lie.

“The problem in Kenya is about our leadership, leaders who don’t want to tell the truth. Leaders are not people meant to perform miracles. There are no miracles, leaders are not angels. Only Jesus can perform miracles, the rest of us is all about working hard,” said the President.

“There are those who want to be clapped for and they keep lying to Kenyans. Let us stop lying. Where it is my responsibility, I will work very hard. But even so, when things have become good, let us not claim credit where we have done nothing. Don’t clap for me, your clapping won’t help,” said President Ruto.

Dr Ruto noted that responsibilities are well spelt out for each leader and we must take into account and deliver on the work we have been given to do.

“There is work that I must do, like reducing the cost of fertiliser. We must tell each other the truth. They are saying the president can reduce the cost of fuel, will he do that? With what?” noted the President, adding that citizens must be told the truth even when it looks bad.

The Head of State spoke in Kisii on Saturday, minutes before he presided over a fundraiser for Kisii Catholic Diocese. He was accompanied by his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua.

He was received by Kisii Governor Simba Arati and his Nyamira counterpart Amos Nyaribo, Senator Richard Onyonka and several lawmakers from the region.

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