More Fuel Shortages Hit Zambia

Permanent Secretary of Energy George Zulu says the current fuel shortages which have hit consumers are expected to improve this week.

A number of service stations in Lusaka have run dry, leading to panicked buying among motorists.  But the Ministry of Energy has thrown the blame for intermittent supply on Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA).

Addressing the press today, Zulu said a combination of a leak on the TAZAMA crude oil feeding line in Tanzania and “high consumption” by people “traveling to Ndola for Zambia-Ghana football match” stimulated the fuel crisis in Zambia – although the Minister did not explain why the shortages began long before the sporting event, or why Zambia was able to give a “gift” of fuel to Malawi following the death of their president.

Zulu said oil marketing companies had been allowed to import six million litres of petrol, three litres of diesel to wet the market.

“At TAZAMA, today, we have allowed them to put out 1, 811 cubic litres for petrol because we have seen these shortages, we needed to increase output from TAZAMA; diesel we are pumping out 3, 286 cubic litres,” he said, sounding confident that the Patriotic Front government would eventually gain control over the situation.

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