Petroleum CS John Munyes has fingered his National Treasury counterpart Ukur Yatani for the high fuel prices that has left Kenyans digging deeper into their pockets.
The fuel increases last month sparked widespread from across section of Kenyans.
Munyes on Monday told the Senate Energy Committee that the Treasury has declined to release Sh24 billion from the Petroleum Development Fund that would be used to cushion Kenyans against high fuel prices.
He said Kenyans did not pay more at the pumps between April and August because of government subsidies.
“Out of the Sh32 billion from the Petroleum Development Fund, we spent Sh8.6 billion in the five months to stabilise fuel prices. We did not receive any money in September,” Munyes explained.
Fuel prices rose to the highest level in Kenya’s history after the government discontinued a subsidy scheme introduced in April to ease public outrage over the high cost of living.
The regulator — Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority — removed subsidies of Sh7.10 on petrol, Sh9.90 on diesel and Sh11.36 on kerosene that applied to the prices of fuel sold in the month to September 14.
On Monday, Munyes noted that the Kenya Revenue Authority collects money for the Fund on behalf of his ministry and hands it over to the National Treasury for disbursement.
“The National Treasury is best placed to explain why they have not disbursed the money to us. It is for that reason I wanted my National Treasury counterpart to be part of this meeting,” he stated.
Committee chair Ephraim Maina sought to be told whether Kenyans would have paid less at the pump if the National Treasury released the remainder of the money.
“I only got Sh8.6 billion out of the Sh32 billion. We should have been both before this committee to shed more light on the matter,” Munyes replied.
Nominated Senator Petronilla Were asked Munyes to provide the committee with the letter he wrote to Yatani asking for the funds.
“We need to be sure that the Ministry of Petroleum wrote to the National Treasury asking for the funds to cushion Kenyans from high fuel prices,” she said.