THE shortage of fuel in Kasempa has persisted as the impasse between Vuma and S & S Muscle Enterprises over the ownership of the filling station remains unresolved with the meeting which was called by the district administration last week failing to materialise.
Kasempa District commissioner Sansakuwa Kadansa told the Daily Nation yesterday that fuel supply to the district was still sporadic with S&S Muscle Enterprises only promising to bring more supplies by the end of today.
Mr. Kadansa said the fuel shortage in the district remained a big challenge as the two companies were yet to sit and iron out their differences after last week’s attempts to bring the two parties together failed.
He said the only fuel the district had was the last consignment that was supplied by Vuma before the company received an injunction to stop operating from the facility by S&S Muscle Enterprises, saying he was worried that once the stock finished economic activity in the district will ground to a halt.
“Right now, the only fuel we have is the last consignment that Vuma supplied here and we are worried that once the stock is finished, we may have a bigger challenge. However, I had a meeting with S&S Muscle Enterprises and they have assured me that they will bring fuel probably by the end of tomorrow (today),” Mr. Kadansa said.
And director of public relations for Pegasus Transport, a subsidiary of Vuma, Allan Lupenga, maintained that Vuma will shut down as soon as the little fuel stocks run out.
Mr. Lupenga said in as much as his company would not engage in unnecessary fights with other business houses that thought they had the muscle to provide a service to the people.
He said while the company had a long standing relationship with the Kasempa community which it has been serving since BP pulled out, it would not send any more fuel stocks to the district unless the district leadership solved the problem. He said Vuma had started taking the fuel which was meant for Kasempa to Zambezi which has had challenges for about a month and were mainly serviced by the black market which was allegedly exploiting them.
“We do not have any problem. If the leadership in Kasempa don’t want us and are failing to address the issue which is clear, we will go to other areas where they want our service. Right now we are taking the fuel which we were supposed to feed the Kasempa filing station to Zambezi and the community there has welcomed us because they were being exploited by the black market.
“For us, it is not about unnecessary fights with our potential competitors; it is about giving a service to communities that need it and so, if some people think they are fixing us by closing our filing station in Kasempa, then they are wasting their time because we have plenty of other business opportunities across the country,” Mr. Lupenga said.
Last week, Vuma suspended its operations in Kasempa following a court order from S & S Muscle Enterprises over ownership of the facility.