By PETER SICHALI
PETROLEUM transporters have reported Othniel Brooks, a multinational fuel supplier, to the Ministry of Energy for refusing to give 50 percent of fuel supply contracts to local firms.
Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) spokesperson, Benson Tembo, who confirmed the development said the multinational firm was frustrating Government efforts to empower locals.
Mr Tembo called on Government and the Energy Regulation (ERB) to punish Othniel Brooks for refusing to give 50 percent volume to Zambian transporters.
“We have reported Othniel Brooks, one of the Government-contracted fuel suppliers for daring the Zambian citizens by refusing to give 50 percent volume to the Zambian citizens as stated in the new Statutory Instrument No. 35 of 2021,” he said. He said it unfortunate that the firm continued to use foreign logistics companies from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mauritius, Switzerland and a local Oil Marketing Company (OMC) which were making fortunes.
Mr Tembo said the local oil marketing company was equally engaging only foreign nationals who had companies registered in Zambia.
“Some of the owners of the trucks that are getting preferential treatment in the supply of fuel to Zambia are based in Europe, America, Kenya and Tanzania and that all the receivables for the transport services rendered are directed to these countries,” Mr Tembo said.
Mr Tembo said the situation had frustrated Zambian citizens who recently joined the fuel transport subsector after getting the assurance from Government on the guaranteed transport business.
“We are therefore appealing to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy to call Othniel Brooks to compel them to put the interests of Zambian citizens first, to comply with the Statutory Instrument and follow what is prescribed in the New Statutory Instrument,” Mr Tembo said.
Mr Tembo appealed to ERB to consider punishing the oil marketing company that had turned itself into a logistics company contrary to the licensing conditions.
He said ERB should consider reviewing the licences given to the local OMC.
Mr Tembo reminded OMC that the Statutory Instrument on bulk and heavy cargo was law and must be obeyed without fail.
He said PTAZ would engage RTSA and ZRA to immediately implement mechanisms to curb non-compliance to the provisions of the new Statutory Instrument on bulk and heavy cargo.
Mr Tembo said PTAZ has over 90 fuel transporters comprising the majority of the targeted citizens.
Efforts to get the Ministry of Energy proved futile.