Curb illegal fuel vending, ERB urged
Published On January 7, 2014 » 2805 Views» By Administrator Times » Latest News, Stories
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.SOUTHERN Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe.

.SOUTHERN Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe.

By BRIAN HATYOKA –

SOUTHERN Province Minister Daniel Munkombwe has called for the curbing of illegal fuel vending to safeguard the lives of people in the country.

Mr Munkombwe said illegal fuel vendors were endangering their lives and that of surrounding places as the commodity could easily catch fire when it was traded in unauthorised places.

He was speaking in Livingstone yesterday at Fairmount Hotel when he officially opened a two-day third annual consumer watch group conference hosted by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB).

“It is unfortunate that illegal fuel vending has become normal. We drive along the road and we see illegal fuel vendors selling the commodity on the roadside while tankers are also being siphoned but we just watch.

“Sometime back in Dambwa township in Livingstone, a family was lost and the fuel vendor was burnt to death for illegally keeping fuel in the house,” Mr Munkombwe said.

He said that most engines for vehicles were being damaged because of the poorly stored fuel acquired from illegal dealers.

Mr Munkombwe urged ERB to work closely with the Zambia Police Service to curb illegal fuel vending.

And ERB executive director Langiwe Lungu, said her organisation appreciated the role that Consumer Watch Groups (CWGs) played over the years to help in protecting the interest of consumers.

Ms Lungu said the conference was particularly important because it was held at a time when the ERB had just established for more CWGs in Chinsali, Choma, Kaoma and Mazabuka thereby bringing the total to 14.

“Early last year when the Eastern Province experienced a fuel shortage, the Chipata CWG was the first to alert the ERB about the situation and provided updates of key developments as they unfolded.

“The CWG sent daily reports of which service stations had fuel as well as on which ones were dry,” Ms Lungu said.

She said going forward, CWGs would continue to be the ERB’s eyes and ears in the community as well as play a pivotal role in complaints resolution.

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