THE Government has commenced investigations to establish the continued shortage of fuel in Lusaka and other parts of the country even after offloading sufficient stocks on the market.
Energy Minister Kenneth Konga said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the Government wanted to establish what had happened to the 400,000 litres of petrol which was offloaded in Lusaka on Monday.
“As far as the Government is concerned, there is enough fuel in Lusaka and it is for this reason that we want to get the truth of this matter.
The question is where are the stocks which were offloaded in Lusaka?” he asked.
Mr Konga said he had asked his Permanent Secretary, Peter Mumba to see to it that the truth was established and that the Government was not happy to see motorists queuing up for fuel.
The minister said another consignment of 350,000 litres of petrol were expected in Lusaka yesterday and advised motorists against bulk buying to ensure there was no crisis of fuel in the midst of plenty.
The Government hired Kuwait’s Independent Petroleum Group (IPG) and Dalbit Petroleum of Kenya to import 50 million litres of diesel and 30 million litres of petrol to ensure there were adequate stocks during the shutdown of Indeni oil refinery.
The Government also asked oil marketing companies (OMCs) to import 20 million litres of diesel and 11 million litres of petrol and waived import duty on fuel for two weeks to facilitate the exercise.
Times of Zambia investigations revealed that some fuel attendants in Lusaka were conniving with vendors who were sold the fuel first and later resold it at as much as double the pump price.
The disruption of the usual fuel supply chain had also created anxiety among motorists who had resorted to buying the fuel in bulk and that had significantly pushed up the fuel consumption.
Mr Konga said it was unfair that some people wanted to make political capital out of the current situation by calling for his resignation even when he had been giving the nation accurate information since the problem started.
“There is no need for people to be calling for my resignation because the information I have been giving to the public is factual,” he said.
Last weekend, Mr Mumba said the Government had requested the Zimbabwean government not to close the Chirundu border at 18:00 hours and also instructed security wings to escort trucks entering from Nakonde to ensure timely delivery of fuel.
Mr Mumba said the situation would soon be a thing of the past as many trucks with fuel had been cleared at Nakonde border post on Saturday night.
Times of Zambia