Zambia Backpedals on Trafigura Deal

The Zambian Ministry of Energy has backpedaled on its decision to award a multi-billion kwacha oil supply tender to Trafigura.

This comes a few days after the Zambia Public Procurement Authority refused to rubber stamp the same decision following reports of alleged corruption in the tender process.

According to selection details, Gunvor was to supply and deliver 1.4 million tonnes of crude petroleum feedstock.

Gunvor’s bid would save Zambia $40m compared to the next lowest bidder and $51m compared to the previous supplier.

Trafigura Oil Company was selected to supply the 216,920,000 litres of diesel and 21,230,000 litres of unleaded petrol.

Energy permanent secretary George Zulu has told the Daily Nation in Lusaka that the government will now negotiate with all the six shortlisted companies.

Opposition MMD president Nevers Mumba had raised a red flag saying State House had allegedly interfered in the tender process prompting the PF government to put the oil procurement process under investigatory review.

Dr. Mumba had warned the oil scandal would soon bring the PF Government to its knees.

“This oil saga will soon surface and we advise the Minister of Energy to ignore any political interference in this deal and reverse the unfortunate development,” Mumba said.  “This singular act will result in the Zambian tax payer loosing US$43 million per year without adding the subsidy on pump price. We are aware of that phone call that was made on that fateful day to influence the decision.”

Zambia is currently hit with a biting fuel crisis as stocks have run out from the pump and the government is struggling with imports.

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