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GOVERNMENT has warned Oil Marketing Companies and suppliers that may be hoarding fuel to create an artificial shortage to force the state to increase the pump price to desist from such as they border on economic sabotage which is an offence.

This follows revelations by the Oil Marketing Association of Zambia (OMCAZ) that the fuel shortage being witnessed in some parts of the country was as a result of some companies hoarding fuel.

Minister of Energy, Peter Kapala however said there was no reason to panic regarding the fuel supply situation in the country as Government had put in place sufficient measures to ensure security of supply of fuel.
Mr Kapala also said the country had sufficient fuel stock and more product was scheduled to be off loaded at the different fuel strategic reserves to increase security of supply.

“I am aware that there have been some reports of sporadic fuel shortages in some parts of the country. A spot check by the Energy Regulation Board at some of the fuel service stations indicates that the situation is normalising with the stations that only had one product stocking up with both products,” he said in a statement.

Mr Kapala assured that measures had been put in place to ensure security of supply of petroleum products.
He said reallocation of fuel quantities under the waiver programme from Oil Marketing Companies that failed to perform to those that had demonstrated positive performance was one of the measures put in place.

Mr Kapala said the government was granting price support on the importation of petrol and diesel to three OMCs for retail consumption.
“This will enable importation of fuel at the current pump prices and at the same time prevent players in the supply chain from incurring losses,” he said.

Mr Kapala said there was an increase in the strategic product stockholding in-country through construction of additional fuel depots, which would provide security of fuel supply.

He said government had also devised a payment plan to clear outstanding debt owed to Government Contracted Suppliers.

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