OPINION: Fuel Price Hike: Is Zambia The Only One Affected?

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) last week increased pump prices of fuel by an average K0.80 (80 ngwee) for petrol, diesel and low sulphur diesel. The regulator also increased the pump price for kerosene by about K1.60 per liter. The reason for this increase is because the cost of fuel on the international market has equally gone up, coupled with the continued depreciation of the kwacha against major convertible currencies.

There has been general outcry from the Zambians that this fuel price increase will affect them severely, especially that the prices of basic commodities have registered a sharp increase within a very short time. This is understandable! But unfortunately, the pump price of fuel in Zambia is dictated by what is prevailing on the international market. When a barrel of crude oil is increased on the global market, it must gives Zambians a signal that their next crude consignment that could be bought at that particular time would probably bring alone an increase in fuel pump prices. That is how it works. But we must not forget that there are times that the government has stayed away from price adjustments even after an increase in the cost of crude as a way of protecting the citizens from

What the people must understand is that Zambia is not the only fuel import country that has decided to effect an upward adjustment on fuel pump prices! For example, Tanzania, our neighbor, has equally done the same. In fact, Tanzania itself increased fuel prices on September 3, 2019. The reasons for the adjustment are similar to what the Zambian government has given, meaning there is no way these countries that import fuel can avoid adjusting pump prices after importing their stock at a higher price.

The Citizen of Tanzania, on September 3, 2019, reported that the retail and wholesale prices for Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene imported in the country in the month of September through Dar es Salaam port have increased by Sh83 per litre (equivalent to 3.87 per cent), Sh61 per litre (equivalent to 2.90percent) and Sh 46 per litre (equivalent to 2.22 per cent), respectively. Similarly, compared to the publication of last month, wholesale prices of Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene increased by Sh82.96 per litre (equivalent to 4.09 percent and Sh60.95 per litre (equivalent to 3.07 percent) and Sh46.12 per litre (equivalent to 2.35percent), respectively. Meanwhile retail and wholesale prices for Petrol and Diesel imported through Tanga port have also increased compared to prices that were published on August 7, 2019.” Earlier on August 5, Zimbabwe announced a fuel price hike of 26 per cent. Fuel prices in Zimbabwe have been increased four times since June and by more than 500 per cent this year.

Here are average prices of fuel per liter in some selected countries:

Tanzania    –     $0.93 per liter
Zambia       –     $1.20 per liter
Zimbabwe  –     $1.05 per liter
DRC           –     $1.35 per liter
Malawi        –    $1.18 per liter
Rwanda         – $1.16 per liter
Uganda          – $1.18 per liter
Kenya            – $1.09 per liter
Ghana            – $0.97 per liter
Gabon            – $1.16 per liter
Burkina Faso  – $1.10 per liter

South Africa    – $1.18 per liter
What must be noted from the figures above is that Tanzania has cheaper fuel because it does not incur shipping costs from the post whereas Zambia has to pay for that until fuel is delivered in the country. In fact, South Africa is tomorrow effecting another fuel price hike, meaning a liter may cost more that what Zambians are paying for their fuel.

This is the prevailing situation on the ground, so the fuel pump price increase was inevitable and subsidising the commodity at the moment would not have worked because it is common knowledge that the government is already facing a host of financial challenges that need to be dealt with. What Zambians must hope for is a reduction in oil prices on the international market and the appreciation of the kwacha, then the government will be obliged to reduce fuel pump prices.


  1. sam

    if it was explained in this way from the beginning people would have understood .next time let an explanation come before hiking and not hiking then explanation.

  2. Leonard

    Ummmmmhhhhhhhh Zimbabwe’s economy is on its knees but there fuel is cheaper.ok well done munangagwa and ……..Dr lungu

  3. Dude

    #Leonard, though the price of fuel looks cheaper for Zimbabwe, it may be subsided. I would have loved to know that information for fair comparison.

  4. Impyakusu ichinyo

    Fuckin zambians there was time when the fuel price was reduced this year but they never reduced the price and said that let old stock finish but they never reduced the price until now but when increasing you don’t wait for the old stock fools


    Well explained but you could have gone further by explaining the causes of the rise of World oil prices.
    Do the same with electricity tarrifs.ERB don’t shy away to explain the causes of rises in fuel and other tarrifs.People will understand otherswise the doomsday politians will tke advantage of lack of well researched information

  6. sam

    any thing done as a reason so ERB u should have explained the reason why u did hike the prices we can’t blame the people for complaining because the majority of populas in zambia is uninformed.

  7. Paul Phiri

    Well said

  8. Dddd

    But people do remember when our president went to make an oil deal in saud Arabia it was said that Zambia will have the cheapest commodity in the region?

  9. John njovu

    If such explanations were given,many people would appreciate but,government spokes person doesn’t go to those concerned instead,she chooses to respond to reports being circulated from internet news feed.

  10. Chi.2

    Most of u who hav been carelessly comentng must go back 2 skul nd learn mo abt listening skills,rememba ignorance has no defence.

  11. Chi.2

    Even high price of mealie meal has not been explained that we neva had enough rains including loadsheddng,ignorance! kikikikikiki awee!!

  12. boma

    To a layman yo explation sounds good but you have not come out to tell the actual trueth y zambian fuel remains most expensive in africa the trueth is you ERB you are the major cost factor in this high fuel cost, fuel pays your hefty salaries buys yo expensive suvs allowances and operations you havent mentioned the source of yo crude oil and how many agents are involved (bakandile) and how many taxs and fuel levies are passed to zambian people we cant buy your cheap explanation zambians open your eyes

  13. mungoni sogola wajere


  14. Niso kodibba

    Well explained on media,reasons for fuel hike.but who knows the truth. Just near by here Zimbabwe fuel is cheaper than in Zambia. (Kankhani kenangu, pa zed pali bapondo kudya njoka,,,Doe’s t have side effects?)

  15. jjphiri

    This is the type of News we need.not just finger poingting and blaming without explaing the reason why such steps where taken.the government must be informing tham pipo why same things have gone up not just taking action.

  16. OLD MZEE

    The explanation is goodThe Chief Government Spokesperson should be tasked to do more research before giving very shall explanations.The answers are there but madam spokesperson cant see them.
    Zambia is not an island ,imagine even countries like Nigeria and Gabon which are oil producers have high fuel prices.In Nigerial there are even fuel shortages and yet Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa.The same with Venezula which has the largest known oil reserves in the World

  17. The Seeker

    Explanations may do the trick yes, but people quickly realize that there struggles continue to be worse inspite of those exculpations. What people are looking for are viable solutions to problems and not these clever justifications, otherwise you will continue giving us good explanations while our lives continue to be plunging deeper into shambles. Offer solutions,not justifications!

  18. Antomwe

    ERB , pliz inform us (the consumers) b4 you make an increment so that we understand the real reason behind it. I say this bcoz the opposition parties politicised the issue thats why I doubt the caliber of our opposition parties they like lies to get a political mileage. We as Zambians want real issues not fake news.

  19. dominant S

    these prices will never go down at all, they will keep on going higher. brace yourselves Zambians

  20. vince

    In future politicians must not use fuel & electricity ie Loadshedding as compaign tools, see these can bring u down easily

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