By PETER SICHALI
ZAMBIAN fuel tankers are charging more than foreign tankers as a result Oil Marketing Companies prefer foreign tankers.
The Zambian tankers are not really owned by indigenous citizens but businesspersons from foreign countries.
Oil Marketing Companies Association of Zambia (OMCAZ) president Kafula Mubanga said Zambian tankers were charging $155 per metric cube when foreign firms were charging only US$120 per metric cube.
Dr Mubanga said with the high operational costs that had affected most businesses, all were trying hard to work within the most minimum costs available for the same output.
“We are preferring foreign tankers because they are not charging exorbitant prices as the locals are,” he said.
Dr Mubanga has also called for an audit to ascertain the number of tankers owned by Zambians. He said there was need for Government to audit ownership of tankers because most of them presenting themselves as locals were foreign owned.
“Technically you will find that most of these tankers believed to be owned by Zambians are owned by Asians,” Dr Mubanga said. He said in as much as Government was keen to empower local transporters, benefits were not trickling down to the indigenous.
“Can we take an evaluation and let Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) tell us who the real owners of the tankers are, because the fact that these trucks are registered in Zambian does not mean they are Zambian owned,” he said.
Mr. Chikwanda said the document would foster an environment of trust in the industry because it would put to rest certain arguments and potential abuse amongst critical players.
He noted that there has been a growing trend of blame-shifting in the sector and the study which aims to create electricity tariff benchmarks on the market would be able to address the challenge faced by key players in the sector.