NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya plans to deport the CEO of fuel storage and distribution company Rubis Energy Kenya over a fuel crisis, The Daily Nation newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing senior government sources who said the state signed a deportation order.
The government has cancelled the work permit of Jean-Christian Bergeron, who has led the company for three years, the Nation said.
Bergeron did not respond to requests by Reuters for comment and Rubis Energie’s offices in France were closed. Reuters reached out to the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, which is charged with immigration, but it had closed by the time of publishing this report.
Kenya’s fuel crisis that has led to long queues at service stations has put pressure on government officials to clamp down on rising domestic prices.
Rubis Energy Kenya is owned by Rubis Energie, a subsidiary of the Rubis Group which is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange, following the full acquisition of both KenolKobil and Gulf Energy Holdings in 2019.
Andrew Kamau, Principal Secretary at Kenya’s ministry of petroleum and mining did not answer his phone when Reuters tried to reach him.
Quoting senior government sources, The Nation said Rubis was among several fuel distributors accused of “having some queer shortages and rationed sales.”
On Tuesday, the Energy and Petroleum regulatory Authority (EPRA) said it would crack down on fuel companies “giving priority to export loadings while the local market was left to suffer intermittent supply.”
Kenya’s government last week said it would pay subsidy arrears to petrol retailers to allay fears of potential fuel shortages and forestall a crisis. Frustrated motorists have been queuing in long lines at petrol stations for days due to the biting shortages.
(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by James Macharia Chege and Aurora Ellis)