Fuel shortage probe on-PS


A REPORT on what caused fuel shortage in most parts of the country last month Is being worked on and will be made public once concluded, Energy, Mines and Water Development permanent secretary General Emeldah Chola has said.

Last month, President Edgar Lungu said he would set up a criminal and administrative inquiry to look into the shortage of fuel which was experienced in some parts of the country.

Mr Lungu made the announcement when he addressed a Cabinet meeting at State House on March 16.

He said criminal and administrative issues regarding the fuel crisis would be scrutinized during the inquiry.

But Gen Chola said relevant authorities tasked various departments to probe the manner in which oil was being procured and what led to the shortage .

“The directive was directed to the Ministry of Energy but am sure that there could be other people who are doing the investigations and they will inform us their finding once they conclude,” she said.

Gen Chola said her first assignment during the shortage was to ensure that the supply of oil got back to normal.

“We discovered that there was reduced supply of crude oil in the country and there were speculations that maybe it was the payment which were not done,” she said.

Gen Chola said instead of the normal supply the country started experiencing reduced supply adding that her ministry still did not know what caused the reduction in fuel supply.

“But am sure that there should be report on the injury which will definitely be made public once their findings are concluded,” she said.

On Monday, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said it had taken interest into the allegations of corruption in the procurement of oil.

ACC public relations manager Timothy Moono told a media briefing in Lusaka that although the commission had not received any formal compliant over the alleged corruption involved in oil procurement, the investigative wing had taken keen interest.

“The commission has taken interest and taken note of the public discussion on the allegations of corruption in the procurement of oil as reported in the media,” he said.

Mr Moono noted that when the country experienced a fuel shortage last month, many Zambians speculated that it was the alleged corruption involved in the procurement that led to the shortage.

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