IN SHORT: Photos circulating on social media claim to show distribution of the low cost cooking gas promised by president William Ruto in some parts of the country. This is not true.
A photo of a group of women carrying 6-kilogram gas cylinders on their heads has been circulating on social media in Kenya since mid-May 2023.
The photo is often accompanied by claims that it shows the distribution of cheap cooking gas cylinders promised by Kenyan president William Ruto.
The text explaining this photo on Twitter is written in a mix of English and Kiswahili and can be translated as: “Somewhere in Central Kenya, the KSh300 gas cylinders have arrived.”
This other one reads: “It’s not business as usual as Mount Kenya residents who voted Mr. William Ruto to the last man are coming out in large numbers to condemn the Kenya Kwanza Government. The Kikuyus want the KSh300-500 gas that Ruto promised.”
LPG use in Kenya
According to a World Health Organization fact sheet, a third of the world’s population cooks with open fires or inefficient gas and wood stoves, which cause household air pollution and millions of deaths worldwide each year.
In late February 2023, Ruto launched the construction of the Taifa Gas LPG terminal in Mombasa, which is expected to increase production, leading to more market competition and a reduction in prices.
In early March, the president said his government would remove all taxes, including the 8% value added tax on LPG cylinders. He said this would result in the price of gas dropping from KSh2,500 to KSh2,800 at retail to around KSh500 or even KSh300.
He said the new prices would come into effect from June 2023. Two weeks later however, Ruto said the much-anticipated KSh300 price would not be possible by June. This, he said, was because approval for the plan had to be in the new budget, which takes effect from 1 July.
But does the picture in question show the promised KSh300 bottles of gas? We checked.
Cylinders in photo were gifted
In the photo, the representative of Matisi Ward in Saboti constituency, Obed Mwale, reportedly distributed 700 gas cylinders to women in the ward as part of an initiative to provide clean energy solutions.
So the photo does not show Kenyans buying the cheaper gas promised by the new government, as claimed.