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Fuel price reduction ‘fishy’ – probe necessary, says Sinkamba

By JOHN KOMBE

THE reduction of the fuel pump price is not backed by key economic indicators such as the current exchange rate and crude oil prices, Green Party president, Peter Sinkamba has said.

In an interview, Mr. Sinkamba observed that the current exchange rate and the price of crude oil on the world market had gone up and as such the reduction of fuel was not logical.

He was commenting on the recent announcement of the reduction of fuel pump price by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).

He pointed out that the price of fuel was raised at a time when the Kwacha was trading at around K17.00 to a dollar and the crude oil price was lower.

He therefore wondered how the pump price could come down when these two key indicators had gone up.

Mr Sinkamba noted that the reduction of the fuel pump price must have been prompted by other factors that need to be probed.

He said the government must take keen interest in this matter if it was serious about fighting corruption.

He said that one would not be wrong to suggest that there might be individuals or companies that were pocketing money and had decided to hold back for a while.

According to Mr. Sinkamba, this was a potential area where corruption was taking place and that it would only be prudent to investigate what had led to the reduction of fuel when the key indicators were not supporting the action.

He noted that the ERB had not provided convincing reasons for the reduction and thus leaving room for speculation.

He urged Government to probe the matter and establish the hidden factors that have influenced the price reduction.  Mr. Sinkamba said the country was losing a lot of money because of cartels that are pitched in hidden places where they need to be fished out.

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