President Edgar Lungu’s directive to investigate the oil procurement process to stop corruption should be implemented to save millions of Kwacha from ending up with greedy individuals, Zambian Voice Executive director Chilufya Tayali has said.
He said management at Indeni Petroleum Refinery and the Ministry of Energy handling procurement of fuel should be investigated to ascertain how certain deals were arrived at as that could lead to an explaination was of factors as to how the country plunged into the shortage of fuel a week ago.
Mr Tayali said it was no longer a secret that there was corruption in the fuel procurement process.
He said due to the failure by those tasked to import fuel to agree on a supplier, they decided to watch the situation worsen without ensuring that fuel stocks were imported.
“So, when the crude oil finished, people at Indeni sat and never did anything and they waited for the people in charge of procuring feedstock to do their part. The Government should investigate what happened,” he said.
Mr. Tayali observed that once the investigations were over, a report should be made available to the public and the President so that people could know what has been going on in the procurement process.
The Zambia Voice executive director also said he had sent an inquiry to Trafigura but that their response had not addressed the issue of failure to supply according to contractual obligation as claimed by Government.
“There are a lot of groups of people involved in this oil procurement scandal and Indeni should explain why there was a shortage in fuel and why they decided to shut down operations and on the other hand, the Ministry of Energy should also explain what it was doing when fuel ran out,” he said
He explained that there was need also to make public the report of the Energy Regulation Board commission of inquiry set up by President Michael Sata which was chaired by Wynter Kabimba.
A week ago, Zambia experienced a shortage of fuel prompting President Lungu to take up the matter and order an investigation the oil procurement process.