Fuel supply pace causing anxiety among drivers

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Government has maintained that there is enough fuel in the reserve depot and has wondered why there is a shortage of the commodity in some parts of the country.

Energy Deputy Minister, Charles Zulu says on Monday, March 16, 2015, his Ministry will meet with all stakeholders in the energy sector, in order to establish the cause of the shortage of petrol in Lusaka and other parts of the country.

Mr. Zulu says his Ministry, the Energy Regulation Board -ERB- and the Oil Marketing Companies -OMCs- will meet to discuss what he has called an artificial shortage.

Meanwhile, the Truckers Association of Zambia has urged government to engage local fuel transporters in the delivery of fuel stocks from Dar-er-salaam in Tanzania to help mitigate the shortages of fuel being experienced in the country.

Association Secretary Benson Tembo says the local transporters are ready to transport the commodity and that government must give them an opportunity as a way of empowering local executives.

Mr. Tembo has told ZNBC News in an interview in Ndola that local fuel transporters are concerned that government is only engaging foreigners in the delivery of fuel from Dar er-salam.

And a check at the Tanzania – Zambia Mafuta Pipeline- Tazama has revealed that fuel stocks are available with truckers loading the commodity.

However, according to the Truckers Association of Zambia, fuel at Tazama is being loaded at a slow pace adding that this is causing anxiety among drivers who are anticipating a fuel shortage.

And the Fuel Shortage in the tourist capital Livingstone has entered day two.

A ZNBC News crew that went round the tourist capital found a long queue of vehicles at Total filling station, the only filling station that has petrol.

And the Livingstone Tourism Association-LTA fears that if the fuel shortage continues, it may negatively affect tourism activities such as boat cruises and game drives.

Association Chairperson, Alexander Mutali, says the fuel shortage will also affect the tourism business in general as it has come at a time which he says is the peak time for business in the tourism industry.

Mr. Mutali says tourist arrivals which he says are currently down by about 60 percent may also worsen if the fuel situation in the tourist capital is not quickly addressed.

He says tourists may opt to go to neighbouring countries for fear of being inconvenienced in their movements by the shortage of fuel.

Mr. Mutali says the gains made in the tourism sector, by the reduction in the pump price of fuel, may be lost hence the need for government to quickly address and normalize the fuel situation in Livingstone.

Times of Zambia

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