Kenyan motorists turn to Tanzania amid high fuel prices
Amid the prohibitive cost of fuel across the country, Kenyan motorists residing along the Namanga border have made a beeline for Tanzania in search of more affordable fuel as pump prices continue to surge.
It's not just privately-owned vehicles that are crossing the border; PSVs, heavy commercial trucks and boda bodas are also part of the convoy
"Bei ya Tanzania ina bei nafuu kushinda yetu Kenya," a car owner told Citizen Digital.
"Tunajaza full tank ili ituskume angalau kwa sababu bei ya Kenya iko juu," a truck driver added.
At one petrol station situated in the Namanga side of Tanzania, a litre of petrol retails at TZS 3,297, which when converted comes to Ksh.193.49. At an exchange rate of TZS 17 to a Kenyan shilling, the same commodity retails at Ksh.206 shillings in Kenya meaning that local petrol consumers save around Ksh.18 per litre.
Diesel, on the other hand, retails at TZS 3,343, which translates to Ksh.196.19. With the aforementioned exchange rate, Kenyan diesel consumers save a minimum of Ksh.4 shillings per litre.
The exodus by Kenyan motorists is denting the businesses of Kenyan fuel retailers near the Namanga border, with most petrol stations deserted or with little to no activity. Retailers are now complaining about a sharp decline in the number of customers.
"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.
With the Kenyan Government projecting a status quo in the prices of fuel next month, the trend at the Namanga border is likely to persist.
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