17 October 2018
The fuel supply situation in the country is improving but remains constrained. However in discussions with the oil industry, it has been noted that despite the improvements, there has been a marked increase in the number of people who are putting fuel in containers crowding out motorists.
The nation is assured that Government is doing its best to ensure continued supply of fuel throughout the country and therefore there is no need for hoarding and panic buying.
My Ministry notes that there are genuine cases of legitimate customers that include command agriculture and other farmers, owners of grinding mills, schools and hospitals that require fuel for their generators and many other users, who of necessity have to uplift fuel in containers.
My Ministry is acutely aware that there are several users who of necessity have to transport fuel to various places of economic activity. While these are all genuine cases requiring picking of fuel in containers, there are those who have resorted to hoarding fuel, either for resale or for future personal use.
It is this latter class of our citizenry who should desist from so doing, as this contributes towards causing artificial shortages of fuel on the market. We are also aware from the public reports that drums and other containers are fueling the black market.
In terms of Statutory Instrument 12 of 2007, fuel is classified under the “Hazardous Substances, Pesticides and Toxic Substances Regulations” requiring specialized containers for carrying and storing. It is in this spirit that my Ministry is calling on all fuel trading companies to follow the law and educate members of the public. We are also duty bound as a Ministry to protect consumers from unscrupulous black market fuel dealers.
My Ministry is therefore advising all parties charged with distribution and use of fuel, to observe the law in supporting all economic and social activities requiring the use of fuel.
Let me end by emphasising that it is illegal to hoard fuel as fuel is a hazardous substance that poses great danger to life and property and that every citizen must desist from such acts.
I thank you
Hon. Dr. J. M. Gumbo
MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT