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Fuel `crisis` after price change

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Aug 4, 2011
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    [h=2]Fuel `crisis` after price change[/h]

    By The guardian team

    4th August 2011

    Some Dar, Mbeya stations closed,as owners claim item out of stock

    Fuel became a scarce commodity overnight, with many filling stations suspending services, following the price reduction announced by the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) on Tuesday.
    The ‘shortage’ comes after EWURA announced a nine per cent reduction of fuel prices effective yesterday in a bid to reduce the high cost of living to wananchi.

    The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) Director General, Haruna Masebu said that diesel prices have been reduced by 8.31%, petrol 9.17% and Kerosene 8.70%.
    Some owners of filling stations in Dar es Salaam told The Guardian that they had suspended services because they didn’t have fuel.
    Long queues were noted at some city stations which were selling the fuel, some at the new prices, others at the old ones.
    The ‘shortage’ has also affected bus transport in Dar, leading to increased demand for taxi services which also hiked charges. A trip which previously cost 3000/= now attracts 4000/-.

    A few minutes before we went to press a taxi driver who identified himself as James Mlowe told the Guardian that Oryx filling station at Mama John was the only station which was offering services.
    “I have never witnessed such a scramble for fuel as the one at Oryx. It is the only place where people can buy fuel in the city, so every one is coming here” he told the Guardian.
    A survey carried yesterday in Dar es Salaam established that some filling stations were still applying the old price.
    Some filling stations had not opened despite showing the new prices on their price boards.
    At Mbuyuni, Gapco fuel station was still selling petrol at 2080/- and diesel at 2080/- per litre, while Upanga BP was selling petrol at 1911/- and diesel at 2004/= per litre.

    At Kijitonyama and Victoria Oilcom filling stations petrol was being sold at 2004/- and diesel at 1911/- per litre.
    At Upanga Total filling station a litre of petrol was being sold at 2,100/- and diesel at 2,084/-, while at ORYX postal filling Station petrol was 2000/- and Diesel 1911/- per litre.
    An operator in Sinza had closed the filling station for what an officer at the station said was a directive from his boss who reportedly said the price reduction would cause loss.
    He said his boss was of the view that the Government should have made sure that the current stock of fuel which he claimed was bought at a higher price was exhausted before reducing the prices.
    The situation was reportedly more serious in Mbeya where some motorists were forced to park their vehicles after almost all fuel stations claimed they did not have fuel.

    The report said only people who were well connected to the filling stations were being served secretly, though not at the reduced prices.
    An operator, who requested anonymity, said the ‘shortage’ was a protest over the price cutback.
    He told the Guardian that the stations claimed that the stock they have was bought before the price adjustments and so cannot be sold at the adjusted prices announced by EWURA.

    Before the adjustment, petrol in Mbeya was sold at 2,250/-, kerosene at 2,150/- and diesel at 2,190/- per litre, but after the adjustment according to our source a litre of petrol is being sold at 2,111/-, kerosene 2,010/-, and diesel 2,018/- per litre.
    When reached for comment, the EWURA Principal Communications and Public Relations Officer Titus Kaguo, told the Guardian that he expected compliance because the reduction was ordered by the government.
    “We expect cooperation and wisdom to prevail on the part of business operators,” Kaguo told this paper.
    He said the operators had no ground to object to the prices, because the process which led to the decision involved consultation with all stakeholders.

    Kaguo appealed to business operators to have mercy on citizens as opposed to profit-oriented tactics. He said the claim that they are holding old stock does not justify refusal to comply with the government directive.
    He reminded them that when EWURA imposed taxes on kerosene, the following day all filling stations hiked kerosene price, noting: “They did not wait to exhaust the old stock.”
    He warned business operators violating the directive, risk having their license being revoked by the government. “EWURA will mount an inspection of the stations to establish whether they had actually run out of stock,” Kaguo said.