The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has directed Mount Meru Petroleum (Z) Ltd to buy a new engine for a client whose vehicle engine got damaged by contaminated fuel he bought from Mount Meru Libala Filling Station, sources from ERB have disclosed.
The source further disclosed that in addition to this directive, ERB will also separately deal with Mount Meru on other regulatory concerns related to this issue. The source also told the Zambian Watchdog that this directive follows a report submitted by Toyota Zambia Limited which indicated that the said vehicle’s engine was damaged as a result of contaminated fuel.
According to the findings in the report from Toyota Zambia, the vehicle was producing white smoke, engine had a misfire, engine oil level was too high and it also mixed with diesel, fuel warning light was on, cylinders and supply pump were damaged, all these resulting from fuel contamination.
But sources within Mount Meru revealed to the Zambian Watchdog that after the company received the directive from ERB to buy the victim a new engine, Mount Meru’s Managing Director Mr. Himanshu Shah astonishingly decided to hire a crooked lawyer Wila Mutofwe to sue the customer whose vehicle suffered fuel contamination, ridiculously claiming among other things compensation for negligence.
The source said the main reason for suing the customer was to punish him for reporting the case to ERB and to ensure that his vehicle rots by not attending to it. Otherwise, there is no legal basis for this claim because ERB, ZABS and Toyota Zambia are all on the victim’s side and Mount Meru’s only evidence are forged documents.
“So how can you take a case to court like that one”? wondered the source. The source added that Mr. Shah has even set aside K500, 000.00 to corrupt a lot of people in this case to ensure that the matter does not go anywhere. It is part of this money that was used to bribe the Lab Analyst at the Zambia Bureau of Standards to forge the results that resulted in the arrest and subsequent charging of two Mount Meru Managers and the Lab Analyst. The other money is targeted at bribing ERB officials to avoid disciplinary action in this case.
Meanwhile, Zambian Watchdog investigations have revealed that Mount Meru lawyer Wila Mutofwe is a crook and has swindled a number of clients. In 2005, he swindled a Lusaka businessman Mr. Karl Robertzee of K56 million whilst he was working for a named law firm.
He further embezzled a lot of funds from this named law firm and bought himself a house in Nyumba Yanga and two vehicles, a BMW and a Nissan Wagon which was grabbed from him as part of the recovery process before he was dismissed.
In 2007, Wila Mutofwe was involved in several land scams where he worked with then Commissioner of Lands Fightone Sichone and apportioned to themselves several pieces of land which include Plot No. 30105 off Manchinchi Road in Olympia Park where he is currently operating under Douglas & Partners.
In September 2012, Wila Mutofwe pocketed K80 million (unrebased) which he received on behalf of a widow, a Ms. Nachivula who was his client and he threatened and insulted her each time she demanded for her money until Justice for Widows & Orphans Project manager Felix Kunda threatened to report him to the Law Association Zambia for professional misconduct. In some instances, especially when he is about to receive a payment from a client, Wila Mutofwe uses “Wila Mutofwe & Co.” a name that does not exist at the LAZ to swindle clients.
The same crooked lawyer Wila Mutofwe is scheduled to cross examine a witness who is the affected customer and other witnesses from Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) on 8th April, 2014 in a matter in which two Mount Meru managers and a ZABS Lab Analyst are charged with forgery, uttering a false document and conspiracy.
Mount Meru Petroleum (Z) Ltd has been selling contaminated fuels to Zambian motorists and so far, a number of vehicle engines have been damaged among them a Mitsubishi Canter belonging to Standard Chartered bank employee whose engine got damaged after refueling from Mount Meru Emmasdale Filling Station, a Mitsubishi Pajero for a Lafarge employee whose pump and other numerous parts got damaged after refueling from Mount Meru Makeni filling Station.
A vehicle belonging to the mayor of Choma which got damaged after refueling from Mount Meru Choma Filling Station, a Toyota Spacio belonging to an employee of a construction company which was damaged after refueling from Mount Meru Lumumba Road Filling Station and a Toyota Hilux for a customer who reported them to ERB for damaging his vehicle after refueling at Mount Meru Libala Filling Station. Even in Tanzania, Mount Meru is known for selling contaminated fuels.
Meanwhile, sources within Mount Meru have revealed that in all the above incidences and many others, Mount Meru refused to compensate affected customers apart from the Choma mayor’s vehicle which they were compelled to repair because it was a government vehicle.
Some of Mount Meru Petroleum filling stations are located in the following areas
Kafue Road, Lusaka
SOS Station,Great North Road, Lusaka
Mumbwa Road, Lusaka
Makeni Road, Lusaka;
Palm Green Station, Mungwi Road, Lusaka
Farmers, Mumbwa Road, Lusaka;
Emmasdale Station, Lusaka
Palm Green Station, Lusaka
Lumumba Road, Lusaka
Libala Station, Chilumbulu Road,Lusaka
Depot, Mungwi Road, Lusaka
Ndola station; Broadway street, Ndola
Ndola, Bwana Mukubwa road, Ndola
Kawambwa station, Mansa Road, Kawambwe
Chipata Station, Chipata