Kitgum, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech has ordered the closure of Petro City filling station in Kitgum municipality for hiking fuel prices.
The station was selling a litre of petrol at 12,000 Shillings by end of business on Monday, while the cost remained between 4900 and 6000 for all other stations in the district and the region.
According to Komakech, six out of the nine filling stations in Kitgum municipality including Shell, Alcoben, Total One, Total Two, Rock, Oil Energy and Gapco had run out of fuel in their reserves leaving Petro City, Pita, and Don operating.
Komakech says they decided to close operations of the filling station because they were taking advantage of the current shortage of fuel in the district to hike fuel pump prices and they will only be opened to business after rescinding their decision formally.
Richard Billy Okello, a pump attendant at Petrocity, Kitgum branch did not deny hiking the fuel pump price for petrol but says they are under a directive from their superiors to keep their reserves with some fuel to avoid closure of business and avoid losing regular customers.
Okello argues the current crisis is a nationwide issue citing Pader where the price of petrol has been hiked to 14,000 per litre and in the West Nile sub-region where a litre of petrol ranges between 10,000 and 12,000 Shillings. Okello however says negotiations are underway to consider a reduction.
Komakech also warned proprietors of other filling stations to desist from taking advantage of the current situation to exploit and inflict financial pain on motorists saying members of the public should abandon the overpriced dealers, stations as they wait for the situation to normalize.
The current escalation in fuel prices has been attributed to recent delays in clearance of fuel tankers at the Kenya-Uganda border points of Malaba and Busia, caused by mandatory Covid-19 testing of all truck drivers along the two border points.