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Uganda is losing so much by buying petroleum products through middlemen in Kenya

KAMPALA, November 6, 2023 – Fellow Ugandans and, especially, the Bazzukulu. Greetings. I have a number of issues to share with you. Let me start with the kuseerwa (being over-charged) for the petroleum products from abroad. When we came into Government, we assumed that the Civil Servants would deal with money, administration, procurement, etc., and we would deal with policy, ideology, strategy, security, etc.

However, in a number of cases, these wonderful People, really let down their country. Take the issue of importation of petroleum products. Uganda imports petroleum products of the magnitude of 2.5 billion litres per annum valued at about US$ 2bn.

Without my knowledge, our wonderful People, were buying this huge quantity of petroleum products from middlemen in Kenya. A whole country buying from middlemen in Kenya or anywhere else!! Amazing but true.

Why not buy from the Refineries abroad and transport through Kenya and Tanzania, cutting out the cost created by middlemen? Those involved were not bothered by these issues.

Some few years ago, I got to know this information from whistle-blowers. I handed the matter to Minister Kitutu to handle. About a year ago, I got to know that the matter was never handled.

When I studied the issue, I discovered that we lose so much by buying through the middlemen.

A check on one occasion a few months ago, showed that the middlemen were selling us petroleum products at prices as indicated below per tonne:


Middlemen’s price – $118;

Price from bulk suppliers or Refiners -$83;


  • Middlemen’s price -$97.5;
  • Bulk suppliers or Refiners’ price- $61.5


  • Middlemen’s price – $114;
  • Bulk suppliers or Refiners’ price – $79

These are prices when the products have arrived at the East African Ports. You can see the huge loss Uganda has been incurring on account of our wonderful People.

We have now contracted bulk and Refinery suppliers able to give us the lower prices. I have discussed this with H.E Ruto, the President of Kenya and our delegation is now in Dar-es-Salaam, discussing with Her Excellency Samia Suluhu.

The writer is the President of the Republic of Uganda.

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