Gachagua cautions tycoons hoarding dollars of impending losses

Written by on 14 April 2023

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has urged businesspeople and investors hoarding the United States (US) dollars in speculation of rising prices to release them to the market.

Gachagua told the traders to release the dollars soon or risk incurring losses.

The second in command was speaking at Mombasa port on Thursday, April 13, 2023, after receiving two oil tankers that had brought into the country 172,191 tonnes of petrol, diesel, and aviation fuel.

“We ask all those Kenyans, businesspeople, investors, who have been hoarding US dollars for the purpose of speculation, please offload those dollars to the market. It is very honest advice from a truthful man,” Rigathi Gachagua stated.

This comes as more pressure mount on dollar demand at a time when the shilling continue weakening in recent weeks to hit Ksh134 against the green buck as at Thursday.

Shortage of dollars has been due to the demand for dollars by traders and the national government to pay for imports and service its external loans respectively.

In a previous agreement, the government had announced that the Kenya shilling will gain strength following a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to delay payments for oil imports by up to a year.

Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davies Chirchir announced that Kenya will start importing fuel on credit from the UAE through the State-owned National Oil Corporation (NOCK).

Under the government-to-government deal, Kenya will import 30 per cent of its monthly fuel requirements, which account for 28 per cent of the country’s monthly imports.

The delayed payments will reduce the amount of hard currency required to purchase oil, hence reducing demand for the dollar in the market.

The credit agreement is expected to ease the foreign exchange crisis and stabilise the shilling, which has been under pressure due to high demand for the US dollar.

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