- Rwandan government has introduced strict rules on fuel dealers as fuel crisis continues to hit the country, local media has reported.
The government ordered fuel dealers in December to serve a maximum of 20 litres per vehicle of petrol per day, a move aimed at preparing the government against possible fuel shortages in the country.
Trade and Industry Ministry rules says that consumers who could be found bribing dealers and dealers who are deliberately refusing to sell petrol products to some clients could be liable to criminal punishment.
Rwanda experienced fuel shortages in December as a result of high fuel prices and reduced supply from the Kenyan town of Eldoret where Rwanda imports from, including the festivities. However, Kenya has claimed to have also been gripped by the current fuel shortages.
The government said it would pump more than 800,000 litres from its strategic reserves to avert a possible crisis and congestion at fuel stations. The rationing has also led to raising of fares as the number of commuter transport was reduced. But government has maintained that the rationing should not apply to public transport dealers.
The business community in southern provinces said the ongoing fuel shortages affected business transactions and transportation, calling on government's intervention. The local media has reported that bus fares between Muhanga community in the south and Kigali route have more than doubled.
"A large number of motorcycle operators in Muhanga have discontinued their services due to the long hours they spend on queues at petrol stations," New times reported.
Reports also said passengers in the southern provinces have also raised complaints over high transport costs while the transporters have blamed the hike on lack of fuel supply at most petrol stations throughout the country.
Rwanda consumes about 200,000 liters of fuel a day to keep the economy going, while the government has announced it intentions to import 12 million litres of fuel that will add to its reserves.
The government has also slashed import duty on fuel by over 50 percent to enable importers stay in business.
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