PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PF SHOULD REDUCE THE PRICE OF FUEL WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT
As UPND, we have noted that the PF has deliberately failed to effect a reduction in the pump price of fuel even when the price of the commodity on the international market has plummeted downwards.
We recall with deep sadness how quick the PF, through the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), rushed to the media to announce the increment of fuel pump prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene citing certain international fundermentals responsible for determining the price of the commodity.
What kind of robbery is this that even after a 27% reduction in the price of crude oil from US$75 per barrel in October, 2018 to US$55 per barrel on 29 November, 2018, they have failed to effect the much-needed reduction in the prices of the commodity?
We wish to state that we are not in agreement with Chief Government Spokesperson and Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dora Siliya that government cannot reduce the pump price of fuel because it is still trading in old crude stock, because as far as we are concerned, Zambia uses 8 shipments of crude oil annually and each shipment lasts for 45 days.
Furthermore, it is very disheartening that Ms Siliya has opted to remain combatant and defensive in her lies to the people of Zambia even when it is public knowledge that from October 2, 2018, when the price of petrol were adjusted upwards by K2.31 to K16.06 from K13.75, with diesel adjusted by K2.64 to cost K14.65 per liter, she opts to bring in the issue of “old stock” which obviously holds no water in this instance.
As a party that values the lives of the Zambian people, we are also aware that the energy sector is very critical to the wellbeing and development of all sectors of the economy, hence, the failure by the PF to reduce fuel prices will, as it has already inadvertently done, inflict more pain on the people of Zambia, especially those in business as every transaction relies on transport as well as the various forms of energy, which are intertwined in fuel pump prices.
Already, we have seen the results of that bad decision on October 2, but typical of the uncaring PF Government, we see Cabinet Ministers who are on free fuel pay a deaf ear and blind eye to the suffering majority Zambians who are hurting due to the high prices of commodities, which has resulted in the cost of living shooting upwards.
Worse still, we call upon the PF Government to furnish the country with how it uses the fuel stock that comes in every 45 days as shipment consignment for a particular period, even though we are aware that the PF government lacks accountability and transparency for their government transactions.
It is so saddening that the pump prices of fuel in Zambia have remained the most unfavourable as well as the highest in the SADC region.
That stated, we observe further that the PF has no further excuse to keep the prices of fuel the same way they were two months ago taking into account the fact that the exchange rates (dollar vs kwacha) has basically remained the same.
Charles Kaisala (Mr)
UPND Chairman for Energy