Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has banned purchase of petroleum products from Kenya saying middlemen have for years been selling fuel to Uganda at inflated prices.
Museveni made the announcement in a post on social media platform X.
According to Museveni who has been ruling Uganda since 1986, when he got into Government he assumed that the civil servants would deal with money, administration and procurement issues and he would deal with issues such as policy, ideology, strategy, security but the civil servants have let down Ugandans on a number of occasions.
“Uganda imports petroleum products of the magnitude of 2.5billion litres per annum valued at about US$ 2bn.
“Without my knowledge, our wonderful People, were buying this huge quantity of petroleum products from middlemen in Kenya. A whole country buying from middlemen in Kenya or anywhere else!! Amazing but true.
“Why not buy from the Refineries abroad and transport through Kenya and Tanzania, cutting out the cost created by middlemen? Those involved were not bothered by these issues,” said Museveni.
He revealed that he was told about this practice through whistle-blowers and he delegated the issue to a minister but a year ago he got to know that the matter was never handled.
He added that he studied the issue and discovered that Uganda loses money by buying through the middlemen. According to Museveni, bulk suppliers or Refiners at East African ports sell diesel at $83 per tonne while middlemen sell the product to Uganda at $118 per tonne. For petrol, the price is $97.5 from middlemen while bulk suppliers or refiners’ price is $61.5
The Government of Uganda has since contracted bulk and refinery suppliers to sell fuel directly to the government at the lower prices.
“I have discussed this with H.E Ruto, the President of Kenya and our delegation is now in Dar-es-Salaam, discussing with Her Excellency Samia Suluhu. n a few years’ time, our Refinery will be up and running.
“I can assure the Inland East Africans of competitive petroleum products, free of distributions caused by middlemen. The whole of Uganda, North- Western Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Western Kenya, South Sudan and Eastern DRC, will benefit,” said Museveni.