PRESIDENT LUNGU ORDERS PROBE INTO FUEL CRISIS, ASSURES NORMAL SUPPLY Lusaka, (MONDAY, 16th March 2015) — Members of the Media: In line with the new approach directed by His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, we called you here to inform you that Cabinet today met at its 3rd sitting and deliberated on a number major issues of national importance as follows:
1. Fuel shortage in some parts of the country: Cabinet discussed at length, the current petrol shortage in some parts of the country and wishes to assure the nation that:
a. The ship carrying crude oil destined for Zambia has since docked at the Port of Dar es Salaam and that measures are being put in place to ensure that the crude oil is urgently pumped to Indeni Petroleum Refinery for processing. More tankers shall be mobilised to transport fuel to most parts of the country.
b. President Lungu has directed further that the ministries of Energy and Finance immediately devise a financing plan that will allow for the immediate pumping of fuel into Indeni Petroleum Refinery from the cargo ship that has docked at the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania;
c. That the Ministry of Energy examines the current fuel supply contract and ensure that it is terminated immediately if there are material breaches committed;
d. Ordered that a short-term intervention to secure immediate supply be put in place as the President examines other options including a criminal inquiry into the current supply disruption. The President is already taking administrative action to address the current problems.
e. President Lungu is not satisfied with the status quo and explanations given by a range of stakeholders in the fuel supply chain;
f. President Lungu has noted that some individuals have deliberately worked to sabotage fuel supply for purposes financial and political gain and he has therefore taken charge of the matter and will involve all the necessary government departments and agencies to bring about a definitive end to the recurrent fuel shortage the country experiences.
g. The President regrets that during the transition following the death of His Excellency Mr Michael C. Sata, some individuals conspired to fix the price of fuel at higher prices than what was obtaining on the market. Criminal and administrative proceedings will take effect accordingly;
h. The President has warned that he has taken note of schemes by some people to disrupt supply chain of essential commodities so that they can profit from the ensuing crisis, stating that government agencies have been ordered to check and report to him on a daily basis proceedings around these essential commodities;
a. Cabinet has approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend Section 3 (1) of the Referendum Act of (1967), Chapter 14 of the Laws of Zambia in order to bring it in conformity with Article 79 (3) of the Constitution of Zambia. The inconsistency is that the Constitution requires 50 per cent of persons entitled to be registered as voters to vote in a referendum, while the Referendum Act provides for all persons registered as voters in a Referendum. The Hon. Minister of Justice will issue a comprehensive ministerial Statement in Parliament in due course.
b. Cabinet has approved the appointment of members of the Zambia Law Development Commission. The Minister of Justice will announce the approved names of Commissioners;
c. Under the item on Financial and Monetary Affairs: Contraction of an Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme Loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) Cabinet approved the contraction of an Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme Loan from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) amounting to US$12, 000, 000.
The loan will be utilised for the full implementation of the Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme, which is aimed at improving animal disease control and livestock production systems in the Programme target areas which are prone to Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and East Coast Fever (ECF) disease outbreaks. Cabinet has noted that Zambian’s public debt profile and its sustainability in the medium to long-term is sustainable. The Minister of Finance presented the Zambian Debt Sustainability Report for noting.
Under the item on Livestock:
Guidelines on the Sale of Livestock to Farmers for Stocking and Restocking, Cabinet approved Guidelines on the Sale of Livestock Breeding Stock being raised at various institutions and facilities within the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The provision of guidelines for sale of breeding stock will enable the Government supply affordable superior breeding stock to smallholder farmers, which will ultimately lead to increased livestock production and productivity in line with the Government policy. Cabinet has also approved broad-ranging measures to ensure the stable supply of wheat on the market.
Cabinet has also taken steps to address the high cost of mealie-meal prices. The Hon. Minister of Agriculture will issue a ministerial statement in Parliament this week to outline the broad and specific policy measures undertaken. Cabinet approved “The Urban and Regional Planning Bill, 2015 for publication and introduction in Parliament during the current sitting. This legislation will provide for, among others, the establishment of an accountable and transparent system of planning so as to have a well-coordinated, inclusive framework to direct the physical and strategic development at district, provincial and national levels. The Bill will go to Parliament in the current sitting.
Issued By: Hon. Vincent Mwale Minister of Youth and Sports ACTING CHIEF GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON