As fuel prices in Uganda continue to stagger towards 4000 shillings a litre, Rwanda has stocked more than 29 million litres of fuel ahead of the Kenya general elections next week. Francois Kanimba, the Rwanda Trade and Industry minister says the fuel stock can last for one and half months, in case the elections in Kenya end in chaos as was the case in December 2007.
Kanimba says with the fuel stock there is no need for Rwandans to worry about any fuel crisis. The minister also says despite the fact that 50 percent of Rwanda’s imports go through Kenya, 94 percent of their fuel imports go through Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania.
Kenya goes to the polls on Monday March 4th to elect a new head of state, Members of parliament, governors and senators amongst others. However, its neighboring countries are preparing for the worst should the country experience another round electoral violence. In the last elections in December 2007, at least 1300 people were killed and 650,000 others displaced.
Some of them are still living in Uganda. The post election violence also disrupted the flow of traffic and goods from Mombasa Port in Kenya plunging its neighbors into a crisis. In Uganda, Petroleum products dealers have been authorized to load fuel directly from Mombasa port.
The move will see an increase options in fuel loading points unlike in the past when suppliers were only loading fuel from Eldoret and Nakuru terminals where the Oil Pipe line stops. Reverend Frank Tukwasibwe, the Commissioner in charge of Petroleum Supply, says the move to load fuel directly from Mombasa would guarantee supply during and after the polls.
On Wednesday, President Museveni assured Ugandans that there is no need for panic, saying government will use the route through Tanzania in case violence breaks out in Kenya. But at most fuel stations in Kampala, a litre of petrol goes for between 3850 and 3900 shillings, up from 3750 shillings over a week ago.
Makena Muchiri, the outgoing Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, says the elections are likely to be peaceful compared to the previous polls. He says that government is taking necessary steps to ensure peaceful elections.