THE probe into the criminal activities involved in the procurement of crude oil has commenced at the Ministry of Energy, says ministry permanent secretary Emelda Chola.
And Brigadier-General Chola yesterday confirmed that the Ministry of Energy had finalised negotiations with suppliers of crude oil whose ship docked at the port of Dar-as-Salaam in Tanzania after experiencing technical problems.
Gen Chola said the suppliers will today start pumping crude oil via Tazania pipeline to Indeni Oil Refinery in Ndola.
“We have been making arrangements so that we can finalize by making sure that crude oil is supplied to Zambia starting tomorrow morning (today). There were some technical issues involved that caused the problem but we have sorted them out and we should be able to see crude oil being supplied by tomorrow,” he said.
Gen Chola also said her ministry had instituted investigations soon after President Lungu issued directive to the ministry to probe the irregularities in the procurement of crude oil.
She said her ministry would inform the public about the investigations.
And Minister of Energy Christopher Yaluma said yesterday that fuel shortage in some places was being caused by individuals who are bulk buying for fear that the commodity might run out in the country.
Mr Yaluma however assured Zambians that the situation was slowly getting back to normal after his ministry held a meeting with the Ministry of Finance on Monday.
He said his ministry and Ministry of Finance agreed to clear a ship which was docked in Dar-es-Salaam.
Mr Yaluma said as of Monday, March 16, 2015, Lusaka had about 574, 000 litres of fuel and 23 unoff-loaded trucks while Ndola had 500,000 litres with 42 tanker trucks not offloaded.
He said yesterday’s Lusaka opening stock was at 818, 000 litres of fuel with 21 trucks while Ndola’s opening stock was 1.6 million litres with 34 tanker trucks which were yet to be offloaded.
Mr Yaluma said the fuel currently in stock was sufficient.
“People are panicking because the country experienced shortages but the stock is increasing, they don’t need to worry,” he said.