Fuel attendants cash in on fuel crisis

Fuel attendants have taken advantage of the crisis and demand K500 for each 20 litre jerry can if one wants a fast service.

Random check at various filling stations in Blantyre and Lilongwe have confirmed the hot business which has enriched the attendants over night with some going home with K60 000 in a day. The business takes place at almost all filling stations which include Puma, Caltex, Total Malawi, Petroda Malawi and Energem.

“I have a friend who works at Caltex at Ginnery Corner. He collected K500s from desperate customers who needed fuel. The customers wanted to be served as quickly as possible. As he went home, he had K7000 in total,” a close friend of the fuel attendant disclosed.

Sometimes, other employees who are not fuel attendants bring jerry cans from friends and other people who want the fuel without necessarily coming to the queue.

Fuel crisis

One Petroda employee boasted that he got K25 000 in two days after he served several customers with their jerry cans.

“It is a hot business. I alert my customers about the arrival of tankers and they give me jerry cans in advance with K500 for each can. I buy the fuel and they collect it,” boasted the employee who added that he has bought some bags of fertilizer and maize seed using the dirty money.

Another method the employees and fuel attendants use is that they fill their own jerry cans with fuel without paying cash immediately then they call clients who come at night to buy the fuel at higher price. They then pay the pump amount and remain with the balance.

One motorist said, “One evening I went to check if there was fuel at Puma station in Limbe. There was no fuel but one of the attendants approached me and said he had kept fuel for another client but the client was not coming to collect. He offered me 20 litres at K8 000 instead of the normal price of K6000. Because of desperation, I took the offer.”

Another method is also that vendors who buy fuel for sale give money to the fuel attendants before its arrival so that they are served first.

“I am a vendor and sell fuel in jerry cans. I always follow where there is fuel. For me to get it easily, I pay K500 for a 20 litre jerry can. On Monday I paid a fuel attendant K2000 because I had four jerry cans. I make a kill because I sell the fuel at K3000 for five litres contrary to K1 500 pump price,” boasted the vendor who stays in Ndirande township.

Malawians are bitter with government for the fuel crisis as there seems to be no hope for stability.

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