FUEL shortage has persisted in Lusaka despite assurances by Government to motorists not to panic as the country has enough stock.
And Livingstone has also been hit by fuel shortage with motorists being allowed to purchase the commodity for not more than K50.
An on the spot check by the Sunday Mail in Lusaka yesterday revealed that most filling stations still did not have fuel with some fuel attendants promising to have it later in the night.
Long queues have continued characterising filling stations with the commodity a situation some motorists expressed frustration over the situation.
The motorists have since called on the minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma to probe oil marketing companies (OMCs) allegedly causing artificial fuel shortage.
By press time yesterday, Total filling station at Northmead, Ody’s and Puma filling stations at Arcades, Puma filling station in Longacres and Total Church Road had the commodity.
Total filling station at Bwinjimfumu, Total Kalingalinga, Engen and Puma filling station at Manda hill shopping complex had no fuel but the fuel attendants said they were expecting to have the commodity before midnight.
Meanwhile, SHIKANDA KAWANGA in Livingstone reports that only one filling had the commodity by press time yesterday.
Motorists interviewed expressed concern that there might be a looming shortage of petrol as out of the five filling stations, only one had the commodity in the tourist capital.
Nyambe Sakubita, a motorist, said the filling station was closed at some point whilst he was on the queue due to the confusion caused by people who were queuing up with containers.
“We delayed on the queue because motorists left their vehicles to buy petrol with containers until the police came in to control the situation,” he said
Another motorist, Oliver Lupenga of Livingstone’s Dambwa area, claimed that he had been on the queue for over six hours.
Mr Lupenga complained that even after queuing up for over six hours, all motorists were only allowed to buy for K50 as they were also rationing the commodity to allow as many people as possible to buy the commodity because of the shortage.
“It is unfortunate that they are selling for only K50 especially that the distance covered queuing up for the commodity is a long one. The K50 fuel amounts to nothing,” he said.
He said his business has been negatively affected because of the time spent on the petrol queue.
Another motorist, Tiersha Sclover, said the fuel shortage negatively affected tourism.
“Livingstone City is a tourist capital and if tourist want to drive around, it will be impossible. How will they visit places with this shortage,” she said
A check at the retailers on the black market revealed that there could be a shortage as vendors said they intendED to travel to Botswana through Kazungula border to come and resale.
Efforts to get Mr Yaluma proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
On Thursday last week, Mr Yaluma in a ministerial statement said Zambia had enough stocks of fuel adding that had the fuel shortage that has hit Lusaka and Kafue is artificial because the Lusaka fuel depot has enough petroleum products.
He said Lusaka had by Tuesday received 525,000 litres of petrol at the depot.
“In addition, 70 trucks carrying an estimated 2, 450,000 litres of petrol enroute from Dar-es-Salaam to Zambia are expected in the country during the course of the week. Furthermore, a vessel carrying 90,000 metric tonnes of petroleum feedstock is in Dar-es-Salaam waiting to offload once all the formalities at the port are completed,” he said.
He said the 525,000 litres of petrol is available for sale to OMCs.
Mr Yaluma told Parliament that he had a fruitful meeting with OMCs and that they had promised to offload the commodity on the market.