President William Ruto on Wednesday, March 22 , addressed the dollar crisis, saying his administration has put in place mitigation measures.
Speaking during the listing of Laptrust Imara (REIT) at the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE), the President directed that moving forward, oil brokers will not hoard dollars as the government will now be making purchases of oil using Kenyan shillings.
"As a Government, we have made innovative intentions and undertaken an innovative strategy to ensure that we ease the burden of the availability of Dollar in our market.
"We just concluded last week an arrangement in our fuel sector that will see Kenya access all our fuel needs in a differed six-month credit. That will eliminate a demand of $500 million dollars every month from this market," the President revealed.
Ruto further exposed a clique of Kenyans who were hoarding dollars in an unethical quick money-making scheme.
"Therefore, for the people who work numbers, I am giving you free advice that those who are hoarding dollars, you shortly might go into losses. You better do what you must do because this market is going to be different in a couple of weeks," he warned.
"We have been having conversations with the Central Bank to reinstate the inter-bank exchange market that has since not worked and I am happy that the players in that sector are working with CBK so that we can again take charge of our market," the President added.
Ruto explained that brokers will no longer distort the market after the reintroduction of the exchange market.
"I am told the only place where brokers are accepted is at the NSE, anywhere else they are banned," the President humorously remarked amongst cheers from NSE staff.
Ruto's directive came a day after Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir explained how a few individuals were holding the country at a ransom by hoarding dollars.
"We do not know the true value of the Shilling to the Dollar. The CBK publishes an exchange rate of Ksh125 but you go to the market and you buy at Ksh142.
"Even the dollars which are available in the country are not helping the situation. If I bought dollars today and I knew the value would go up in a few days, I am willing to withhold the dollars for speculative purposes," Chirchir remarked on Tuesday, March 21 when addressing the dollar shortage in the country.
On Wednesday, March 1, Ruto sealed a deal that will see Kenya access cheaper fuel by allowing the government to use diplomacy to purchase oil from friendly Gulf states.
Through the new plan, only government-to-government purchase of oil would be allowed where the state would import oil through long-term contracts of nine months that allow payment to be done within six months.
In the past, the government used Open Tender System (OTS) where a tender was floated every month with 112 licensed oil marketing companies participating.