Uganda's fuel crisis overshadows celebrations for Museveni's presidency - Energy

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The fuel file in Uganda constitutes a headache for the government, especially as its escalation during the current period coincides with the celebration of the anniversary of the sixth term of the current president, Yoweri Museveni.

The East African country was affected by global market data, which negatively affected both major and developing countries, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine nearly three months ago, and unprecedented increases in oil, gas and coal prices.

The crises of fuel shortages in Uganda and the high prices of fuel, if available, chased the presidential celebrations, as Ugandans awaited the government’s presentation of its solutions to the crisis.

Uganda fuel profile

Ahead of the upcoming celebrations this weekend, marking the one-year anniversary of President Yoweri Museveni’s sixth term, companies and citizens are calling for Uganda to rein in fuel prices, after they saw a 70 percent rise in retail markets over the past year.

fuel in uganda
Awaiting for Uganda’s fuel crisis to be resolved during Yoweri Museveni’s sixth term in office celebrations – Photo from Pink News

Opponents warned that the north of the country would be exposed to the largest share of fuel crises in Uganda, as fuel prices and shortages of supplies persisted in their current form, according to the East African newspaper.

It seems that the high prices of fuel supplies affected by global prices overshadowed the performance of domestic growth for the month of March, and continued to weaken it, despite the confirmation of the Ugandan Bank data, which is likely to recover the pace of economic growth after its disruption during the pandemic period.

Juliet Ngenda, Director of Tax Services at PwC Professional Services Network, has pinned her hopes on the upcoming presidential ceremonies to announce the government’s fuel price subsidy plan in Uganda, given that the industrial sector is also affected by the current crisis.

Naginda saw it as illogical to leave fuel prices to market competition which allows the government to collect revenue of 1,200-1,300 Ugandan shillings per liter of fuel, instead of subsidizing it.

(1 Ugandan Shilling = 0.00027 USD)

government deficit

On the other side of the optimistic expectations regarding the handling of the upcoming presidential celebrations of the fuel crisis in Uganda, Finance Minister Mattia Kasaiga, in previous statements, paved the way for the government to refrain from taking a position on the crisis, whether by reducing or canceling taxes imposed on fuel.

During the May Day celebrations, Kasaiga called on those who wait to prepare for worse scenarios regarding the government’s proposal to solve the fuel crisis in Uganda.

The official of government data in the Presidential Office agreed with him, noting that corruption is Uganda’s biggest enemy, and it obstructs projects, which prompts the government to face challenges in implementing its policies.

The representative of the International Monetary Fund in Uganda, Isabella Karbojic, called for an increase in government collection rates for domestic revenues by 0.5% of GDP, pointing out that the decline in revenues may push the government to increase the borrowing rate.

Queues pile up and strikes continue

fuel in uganda
Overcrowding of trucks has exacerbated Uganda’s fuel crisis (Photo: ABC News)

Prior to the rise in international prices and their impact on the fuel file in Uganda, the general scene of dealing with the most important file in the country in the east of the brown continent was dominated by the accumulation of queues in front of stations, as well as the queuing of trucks after the drivers’ strike.

In early January of this year, the Ugandans aspired to implement their commitments by the government, and to restore fuel prices to their low levels, but the shortage of supplies and high prices dominated the scene at the time.

The shortage of supplies and their high prices, if available, coincided with the start of a strike by truck drivers on the Uganda-Kenya border; protesting the requirement that they take a coronavirus safety test at a cost beyond their means.

Fuel prices in Uganda – especially gasoline prices – at the time increased by about 50% across the country, especially in the capital, Kampala.

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