Zambian Capital, Lusaka, Runs Out of Fuel

The poor administration of the energy sector by the ruling Patriotic Front has continued to haunt Zambia as the country is again experiencing a shortage of fuel with President Michael Sata’s minister Yamfwa Mukanga left wondering.

Some four months ago, Zambia experienced countrywide fuel shortages, and its population is continuing to grapple with incessant load-shedding which since President Sata came to power has increased to alarming levels.

Justice minister Wynter Kabimba is currently under investigations by the Anti Corruption Commission for allegedly receiving kick-backs from Trafigura who have a one year crude oil supply contract to Zambia.

Kabimba, who is a director in Midlands Energy which acts as an agent in oil deals, was initially tasked to chair a Commission of Inquiry into how the MMD procured fuel but its outcome, like many of those academic and kangaroo like commissions by President Sata, has not be communicated to the public.

The country’s refinery, Indeni Oil, was recently shut for routine maintenance but there is no word whether it had resumed operation and how much stock it had to sustain consumption.

And now Lusaka, in barely 13 months of the PF’s rule, is already hit with another fuel shortage for the second time running. There is also no fuel in Nakonde in Northern province which borders the landlocked country with Tanzania.

In Eastern Province, Petauke and Katete districts have had no fuel from last week. By close of business on Wedensday, most filling sations in Lusaka had had no fuel and motorists were already queueing up for the commodity.

Mukanga, the minister for energy, has told the government owned but PF controlled ZNBC that he does not understand why there is no fuel in Lusaka and Nakonde.

The minister said the fuel shortage can not be attributed to the shutting down of the Indeni Refinery oil in Ndola. He said Ndola refinery has just being re-opened.

Mukanga, however, turned the heat on on Oil Marketing Companies. He said the Oil Marketing companies have stopped giving fuel on credit to filling stations and that was the cause of the shortage.

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