The deputy minister for Energy and Mineral, Mr Adam Malima

The government has directed the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) to impose stiffer penalties on businessmen and other people involved in fuel adulteration.

Generally, the government told the Parliament that the problem had been reduced to a large extent, especially after high taxes were imposed on kerosene.

“Some people are still involved in fuel adulteration. We simply call them hard-core adulterators, who need stringent penalties than the ones provided in the laws governing operations of Ewura,” said Energy and Minerals deputy minister Adam Malima.

The deputy minister was responding to a supplementary question from Special Seat MP, Amina Amour, who had faulted the government over failure to control fuel adulteration, which has adverse effects on vehicles and country’s economy.

Malima said following the public outcry over fuel adulteration, in July last year the government took bold steps to increase taxes on kerosene whereby the amount of tax charged on the fuel was increased from 52/- per litre to 400/-.

The measures, according to the deputy minister, enabled Ewura to control fuel adulteration, which was becoming rampant throughout the country. Current statistics on fuel adulteration problem show that it has been reduced from 78 per cent to only 10 per cent, as of December last year, the deputy minister informed the House.

Besides reducing fuel adulteration, he said, sales of petrol and diesel increased to 252.9 million litres and 517.7 million litres between July and December last year.

“During the period under review, there was a significant drop in kerosene sale, compared to the period between January and June last year before higher taxes on kerosene were imposed,” said Malima.

He explained that in order to wipe out few elements of businessmen and dealers still engaging in fuel adulteration, the government had already directed Ewura to come up with a proposal for devising stringent penalties against hard-core adulterators.

EWURA, according to the minister, was working on the proposal and once is ready; the responsible ministry would present it in Parliament for discussion and endorsement.

Responding to a basic question from the same MP, the minister said Ewura would continue conducting regular inspection on the quality of fuel sold in the market to ensure that kerosene was used for intended purposes.

By Judica Tarimo, The Guardian

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