Information received from Nairobi’s main safari airport once again speaks of lack of fuel, and once again, what else, the air operators are blaming it on the red tape the Kenya Revenue Authority has created and is getting more and more entangled in.
The situation was then compounded for Kenyan aviation, when a light aircraft flying to the main international airport for refueling got stuck on the runway with a burst tire, compelling incoming flights to be either held or diverted and outgoing flights to be delayed before the plane could be towed off the busy single runway of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Said one of the usually more outspoken aviators from Wilson Airport: “No one says we do not need a revenue authority, but what we do not need is a revenue authority which continues to mess us up due to ignorance and a total lack of ability to learn what makes aviation work,” while another added, “How many times were we grounded – in Wilson, in Malindi – over the holiday season or have had huge problems to get fuel to some upcountry fields into which we operate because of KRA. They have absolutely no respect for us, no respect for anyone; they think they are infallible.” Fuel suppliers were understandably more than just a little silent over the issue, likely to avoid incurring the wrath of the tax body, who in the past have often been described as vindictive and vengeful when individuals or companies openly decried their failures and shortcomings in the public media.
It was learned that the Kenyan government has, in a classic U-turn, suspended the disputed fuel inspection levy and testing fee, which is thought to be behind this latest round of arguments between fuel companies and the KRA and responsible for the shortages and price rises of recent days.