HONE SIAME and STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
THE Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has warned of stern action against service stations that will not effect revised fuel pump prices.
On Monday, ERB announced the reduction in prices of petroleum products necessitated by excess supply, high oil inventories, and appreciation of the Kwacha, among other factors.
ERB consumer and public affairs senior manager Fred Hang’andu said in a statement yesterday that the organisation has deployed inspectors to various parts of the country to ensure all filling stations adhere to the revised fuel prices.
Mr Hang’andu said the ERB received a number of complaints from consumers who were either turned away because some service stations were not selling fuel, or made to buy fuel at old prices.
“It should be noted that service stations which have not yet effected price reductions are liable to enforcement action, and the affected oil marketing companies (OMCs) shall be summoned for hearing soon,” Mr Hang’andu said.
He said all service stations are expected to make downward adjustments to fuel pump prices in line with new revised prices.
“The Energy Regulation Board is currently undertaking random inspection to ensure all filling stations countrywide adhere to the revised fuel prices that took effect at mid-night of 7th August, 2017.
“ERB would like to appeal to members of the public to continue reporting service stations that have not complied with the ERB directive especially through the toll-free line 8484,” Mr Hang’andu said.
Petrol is now fetching K11.67 per litre from K12.50, while the price of diesel has gone down from K10.72 to K9.87 per litre.
Various stakeholders are elated by the reduction of fuel pump prices and have appealed to the business community, especially those in the transport sector, to pass on some of the benefits to consumers by reducing bus fares.
A snap survey by the Daily Mail at selected stations in Lusaka revealed that prices have been slashed.
Some of the filling stations that have complied with the downward adjustment of the prices include Engen – Makishi in Rhodes Park, Petroda – Kalingalinga, Total in Northmead, Puma in Longacres and Libala.
Other stations that have effected the new prices are Total – Kamwala and Kabulonga, Puma – Woodlands and Total – Church Road.
Some motorists were surprised that a radio station aired a news item claiming that fuel prices have not been reduced.
Taurai Chimwendo a motorist found fuelling at Petroda -Kalingalinga said he has been buying fuel at the new prices since ERB announced the changes.
Another motorist Martha Mulenga, a businesswoman of Kabwata who was found refuelling at Puma-Libala said she has been buying fuel at the effected new prices.
“It is news to me that some filling stations have not reduced the price of fuel. Government should then start inspecting these filling stations as this is theft,” Mrs Mulenga said.