Fuel shortage hits Kampala

2280 Views Kampala, Uganda
A fuel shortage, beleived to be artificial by some oil industry players, is being experienced in and around Kampala.

Many fuel stations in the city are reporting having little or no fuel, with most of them displaying zero prices for petrol and diesel. Several motorists say they have been turned off at fuel stations.

The shoartge comes at a time when fuel prices were falling with industry players expecting further fall owing to positives on the global supply side.

Last week regsitered big drops in both petrol and diesel prices. Several petrol stations posted diesel going for a low of 3000 shillings while petrol was at an average of 3,450 shillings. Kerosene traded at 2900 shillings.

Peter Ochieng, the operetaions and marketing manager of Kobil Uganda, was last week reported to have attributed the fall in pump prices to a strengthening shilling and improved availability of oil products in Kisumu and Eldoret in western Kenya where most supplies come from.

Ochieng said getting oil products from Kisumu and Eldoret reduces transport charges and prices.

Industry players had anticipated that fuel prices would go further down owing to these factors, hence it is surprising that instead the reverse is happening.

Ivan Kyayonka, the country manager of Shell Uganda, said as far as he is concerned Shell is not experiencing any shortages or challenges in its supply chain.

Kyayonka told Uganda Radio Network that he it is therefore strange that fuel shortages are being experienced,adding that if true it could be a situation with other industry players and not shell.

He expressed surprise that there is a fuel crisis, stressing that while he cannot speak for other dealers his Shell company is not experiencing any challenges.

Economic commentator Okello Oduman said if the supply chain is favourable then it means there are dealers hoarding fuel in order to create an artificial shortage and their profit margin.

According to Oduman, such an artificial shortage would create turbulence in the economy like increased costs of transport, factors of production and prices of goods and services. This, he argues, would worsen the dire economic situation most people find themselves in.

Oduman also reasons that the hoarders are most likely looking at their bottomline and want to esnure that the prices of petrol and diesel do not fall below the dollar.



About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."