By CHATULA KANGALI –
LOCAL petroleum transporters are up in arms with Sahara Energy for allegedly abrogating the contract the company signed with Government to reserve 20 per cent of the fuel transportation business for Zambians.
Sahara Energy is one of the companies contracted by Government to supply fuel in the country.
Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) general secretary Benson Tembo said more than 26 trucks were stuck in Mozambique at the port of Beira for more than 30 days.
Mr Tembo said only four trucks loaded and the rest were sent back empty because the supply company, Sahara Energy had contracted a firm from Mauritius to transport fuel into Zambia.
He said the Mauritius firm engaged drivers from Mozambique and Zimbabwe to transport the imported fuel into the country.
The action by Sahara Energy to abandon local transporters was against the contract signed with the Zambian Government which is expected to come to an end this month-end.
“We are not happy with what Sahara Energy has done, the contract it signed with the Zambian Government to reserve 20 per cent for locals is still running, we do not know why the company is engaging a firm from Mauritius called Opar 8 to transport imported fuel into the country,” he said.
Mr Tembo said local contractors would invoice Sahara Energy for the empty trucks that were sent back and were contemplating to take legal action.
He said the association had since urged Government to censor Sahara Energy and ensure that its contract is not renewed for the new dispensations expected to start next month.
Mr Tembo said the association has addressed the issue to Ministry of Energy Permanent Secretary Emeldah Chola who assured she would look into the matter.