Fuel crisis enters day nine

Lusaka today entered the ninth day of the fuel shortage with most motorists packing their cars for lack of the commodity.

The fuel shortage continued as of Monday morning despite assurances from the government that huge consignments of petrol has rolled into the country.

A check at a number of filling stations in Lusaka, which had petrol, revelaed that there were long queues as motorists waited in the heat to be served, while other spent nights at the at the stations.

At Total filling stations along the great north road, long queues had formed by Monday morning almost blocking the flow of traffic on Great North Road.

In Mpika, Ernest Mwape reports that only a fuel liters of diesel were received and that it is likely to run out anytime.

Fuel shortages were first felt on the market a week ago and the situation is yet to normalize.

Meanwhile, Economist Chibamba Kanyama has urged government to seriously arrest the current fuel shortage in the country before it paralyses the Zambian economy.

He noted that what started as a small incident with a reported technical fault at Zambia’s Oil refinery, Indeni, it’s surprising that it appears to be a crisis in progression.

Mr. Kanyama says that there is no logic for Oil Marketing Companies to hoard up fuel to create an artificial shortage given that the budget that could induce fuel price increases has since been announced.

He adds that it must be appreciated that the fuel business largely depends on volume to make profits given the small margins in the business.

The prominent Lusaka Economist in his weekly commentary says that this situation is becoming a crisis with ghastly economic implications.

He further explains that Households and business houses are losing time as some of them have suspended operations as they need petrol for logistical purposes.

He warns that Confidence levels in the capacity of institutions to manage such a critical resource, energy, are waning saying that It is not an appropriate signal for investor confidence and economic development.

Mr. Kanyama adds that the situation must be arrested by authorities before it goes out of hand and the government will need the support of all stakeholders that can provide a lasting solution to the current fuel shortage.

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