Government is warning fuel retailers in the country against hoarding fuel amid speculation of an impending pump price hike, saying this was a criminal offence
Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola made the warning on Wednesday when he made surprise inspections of service stations in Lilongwe to check if their fuel volumes were tallying the volumes Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) records indicated were supplied.
Earlier, Matola assured people in the country that Malawi continues to have a steady flow of fuel, despite challenges on the international market.
Matola said this in Lilongwe during a media briefing on Malawi’s fuel situation.
Matola who was flanked by Information Minister, Gospel Kazako and MERA Chief Executive Officer, Henry Kachaje, said trade sanctions imposed on Russia for invading Ukraine, have started causing a scramble for fuel thereby affecting the supply of fuel supplies on the international market.
Matola however said the government is trying to keep prices lower than most of its peers in the region, saying this is done to ensure fuel is available.
Matola implored Malawians not to panic because fuel is available
He said his ministry is aware that some people are speculating resulting in panic buying and illegal storage of fuel.
He also said it is disheartening that when the country has enough fuel, some unpatriotic Malawians are resorting to selling it across the borders.
“This tendency is a crime, that’s being unpatriotic and needs to stop. Government is trying hard enough to have fuel available, while others want to cash in on the same,” said Matola.
Kazako in his remarks said there is a likelihood that fuel prices will be increased but did not specify when.
He, however, clarified that this will not be the wish of the government but dynamics on the international market triggered by the Russia – Ukraine conflict.
Henry Kachaje, Chief Executive Officer for MERA, said Malawi remains the only country with low fuel prices in the region.
He cited big economies like South Africa and countries like Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia where fuel prices are way too high.
Kachaje said currently, even in the UK fuel selling price is now at £2 (K2,433) per litre.
“Let’s not take advantage of our situation, to abuse it,” said Kachaje.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :