Solwezi district has been hit with a fuel shortage which began early this week causing traders on the black market to hike the price of the commodity.
Traders on the black market have hiked the price of the commodity from K9.8 per liter to K15 per liter of petrol.
The shortage has caused panic buying among residents in the district who queued up as early as 06:00hours to access the commodity.
A check by Daily Nation at the four filling stations in solwezi found only puma filling station with the commodity.
The filling station had queues stretching through the town center.
And SGC and TOTAL filling stations had no queues as the two had run out of the commodity.
when asked the attendants at the filling station expressed ignorance about when the commodity is expected in the district.
Meanwhile a check at Mount Mweru found no queues as the commodity has also run out.
However mount Meru manager identified as Bhavesh revealed that the situation will be normalized by the end of the day.
He said the commodity had already arrived at the depot meaning customers should not panic or be taken advantage of by black market traders.
And residents of solwezi have lamented the shortage saying it is an inconvenience to a lot of people. The residents stressed that the situation is causing black market sellers to take advantage of residents who are desperate to access the commodity.
‘Because of the long queues we are being forced to buy from the Kaponyas who are exploiting us because we are desperate to buy fuel” the residents said.
Chiuka Evans a bus driver lamented that he will not be able to meet his targets because of spending the whole day in a queue.
“For most of us bus drivers fuel is what we live by and without fuel we won’t make any money and this situation has been like this since Monday meaning our whole week has been disturbed” he said.
And Mark Kaumba a resident found at the end of the queue complained that it is not right for only one filling station in a large district such as Solwezi to be the only one with the essential commodity.
“we are already having problems with electricity now we have fuel problems, this means institutions relying on Gensets won’t work because as it is now I’ve been here for hours without moving for fear of losing my spot and I am yet to access even just a liter” he said.
He noted that the functioning of a lot of things in society require fuel and electricity for them to operates adding that there may be a breakdown of various sects in society such as transport if the situation is not worked on soon
Mr. Kaumba noted that the situation was unacceptable and government should work with the fuel companies to rectify the situation soon.