Minister says fuel woes to continue, Bhangwanji gets licence

Malawi Government through one its senior strategists has admitted yet again that the ongoing fuel shortages are far from over.

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Goodall Gondwe, who was largely responsible for Malawi’s economic turn-around between 2004 to 2009 as Finance Minister, made the confession to Malawi’s local paper this week.

Gondwe said the US$3 million (about K500 million) which the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) issued for fuel acquisition was too much on the lower side to get the country off the nagging fuel shortages.

Fuel crisis: Malawi situation

He said the situation is far from normalizing as there is need for more millions of dollars to buy adequate fuel required by consumers.

“We need about US$30 million a month to satisfy the country’s fuel demand, so you can see that US$3 million (K500 million) can only bring in supplies for three days,” said Gondwe.

He said government expects the fuel problems to be completely addressed at a later stage, but not with the K500 million released last week to fuel buyer, Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL).

PIL chairman Michael Faulkner said last week Malawi requires around 24 million litres of fuel a month and that the US$3 million provided by RBM could only buy 15 million litres or indeed 20 days based only.

Meanwhile, Malawi Gazette says indicate that the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has issued a fuel importation licence to a company called EDKOM even though he does not have any deport to keep and test the fuel before selling it to clients as is required by regulations.

The company is co-owned by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament for Lilongwe City West Edwin Bhangwanji and Komani Franklin Nyasulu.

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