The Government has been challenged to explain why it paid US$500million for the Trafigura oil procurement deal when the oil cost less than US$200million at international oil market prices.
Political activist Brebner Changala has revealed that Zambian Petrol prices were 31% higher than the average world price and diesel was 24% higher than.
“We are being made to pay for high prices, that is why the issue of subsidy does not even arise.” He said.
There was no way, he said that the price of 216 million liters of petrol and 21 million liters of diesel could be US$500million, “Look at the world prices of petrol and diesel. The Government paid too much. The question I s why?” he said.
“If we went o Zimbabwe and bought the same amount of oil from their pumps we would not pay this amount of money.” He said.
The entire Trafigura contract inclusive of transport, insurance and profit, he said, should not have cost more than US$320million, “And yet the Government is talking of subsidies and taxes.” He said.
The Trafigura deal was a rip off because the entire consignment of finished products which cost US$500million should not have cost more than $320million, when considered at the prevailing market prices of finished products.
“These people just bought the oil from refineries and transported it to Zambia, anybody else could have done the same at a lower price because the world prices are very well known,.” He said.
“The Government is talking of subsidizing oil, why should expensive oil be subsidized? “ he asked.
“These prices being charged in Zambia are all above average and yet we obtain the supplies from the same sources and transport them in the same manner Our friends in Zimbabwe do not pay the same prices we are paying and yet they have to transport their oil almost the same distance in the same manner as us.” He said.
The entire Trafigura contract he said should not have cost more than US320million “Considering that the company was transporting finished products by lorry from Dar-Salaam into Zambia.”
“They did not use the pipeline but instead transported the fuel in a more expensive manner but still the value would not have been as high.” He said.
From public records, he said, it was clear that Zambia imported 216 million liters of petrol and 21 million liters of diesel and paid Trafigura US$500 million a price that was well above the ruling market prices.
It was very wrong, he said that the Zambia Government was announcing fuel price increases at a time when other countries were announcing reductions.
“The price of petroleum products will go down today in South Africa. Why should our prices be kept up because we must pay expensive suppliers.” He saked.
Mr. Changala charged that from all indicative calculations from authoritative sources indicated that the price for the Trafigura deal should have been paid not more than US$ 300million for the consignment fior which the Government paid $500million.
Earlier this month Diesel went up by KR1.63 from KR7.57 to KR9.20 per liter, petrol by KR1.75 from KR8.16 to KR9.91, while kerosene went up by KR1.68 from KR5.15 to KR6.83 per litre.