Fuel situation improves after Mera’s zigubu ban

Just  days after Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) banned buying fuel using gallons, drums and other containers popularly known as zigubu locally, the fuel situation has tremendously improved in many parts of Malawi.

Mera has advised those who need to fuel plants, generators and maize mills to approach its offices for permits.

Visits to many fuel stations showed that cars were easily refuelling. There was a rush to pump stations on Friday when Petroda was delivering its supplies but the pressure was managed as every car drove and bought the fuel without hassled from merchants with zigubuwho are always vocal.

Lanjesi: Puma Energy to supply more fuel

The ease was furthered on Sunday when Puma Energy started deliveries and by Monday evening many people who were in need of fuel were relieved to have bought without any troubles.

“If this situation can be sustained the surely many motorists can focus on other things because every money I had was supposed to be used for filling the tank but now its as if we are somewhere else
since afternoon cars are freely driving in to refuel which is supposed to be the case always,” said James Banda at Petroda Filling Station near College of Medicine in Blantyre on Monday night.

Puma Energy Malawi Limited general manager Dr Davies Lanjesi said fuel companies are closely working with Petroleum Importers Limited and National Oil Company to get more supplies into Malawi.

He also told the press in Lilongwe last week about how his company will use proper measures at pump stations as a way to manage the situation since supplies flowing into the country were adequate.

The ban by Mera has stifled supply to the black market and one trader at Biwi in Lilongwe admitted that it is now very hard to source fuel.

“We have our contacts at pump stations where we always get supply but now ‘boma lakwiya latitsekera mgodi’–the government is angry and has dried up our income source but stil we have made our cut,” said the dealer popularly known as Douga.

Fears

Last week, Lanjesi said the fire accident in Mzuzu where petrol exploded in a house confirmed retailers fears that fuel supplies were available in the country not in cars or pump stations but homes.

“It is for this reason that we will strictly adhere to measures by Mera and we not anymore entertain gallons and drums at our pumps as it is very risky and only powering the black market anyone interested to buy in gallons must approach Mera for permits,” said Lanjesi then.

He added that because of risk involved with crowd management Puma Energy will only allow a required number of cars at the pumps.

Malawi’s economic activities have been reduced by 50 percent because of the fuel shortages facilitated by forex unavailability which have both haunted the country for the past 2 years.

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