Most fuel stations in Kisii County have run out of the commodity. Passengers were stranded as others decided to trek over long distances since fares had doubled during the festive season. Save for Tosha Petrol Station, most stations remained closed due to lack of fuel.
A spot check on Tuesday morning by the Nation revealed that most drivers and boda boda riders had grounded their vehicles and motorbikes.
The price of petrol shot up to Sh109 from Sh104, while pump prices of diesel increased from Sh100 to Sh103.
“We have ordered about 50,000 litres of petrol,” said Mr Hussein Mohamed, a manager in one of the fuel stations.
Most passengers, who opted to trek over long distances, protested over arbitrary fare increases by boda boda operators and matatu owners.
Fares from Kisii to Keroka town increased from Sh80 to Sh150, while those traveling from Kisii to Kilgoris town paid Sh200, up from Sh150.
“I have been at the bus stop for five hours, fares have doubled. I am forced to pay Sh200 instead of Sh100,” said Ms Grace Charles in Kisii on Tuesday.
Mr Thomas Mose, a driver, said they had increased the fares because they no longer carried excess passengers.
“Before the Michuki Rules were implemented, a 14-seater matatu would carry up to 18 passengers who paid Sh50 each but the number dropped to 12 passengers, forcing us to increase fares,” he said.
Locals now want action taken against matatu operators who have arbitrarily increased fares. Kisii County Deputy Police Commander Caleb Matoke has warned matatu owners against exploiting commuters.
“We have not received any complaints from the public but anybody found to have raised the fares will be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.