Fuel Price in Zambia is heavily subsidised, Dora Siliya tell parliament

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Zambia's Minister of Energy and Water Development Ms. Dora Siliya during a panel discussion at the Africa Energy Conference in Johannesburg
Zambia’s Minister of Energy and Water Development Ms. Dora Siliya during a panel discussion at the Africa Energy Conference in Johannesburg

GOVERNMENT is heavily subsidising the pump price of fuel and there are enough stocks of the commodity, Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya has told Parliament.

And Ms Siliya says it would be imprudent to reduce fuel prices until the exchange rate of the Kwacha against other convertibles is certain and predictable.

Ms Siliya said in a ministerial statement yesterday that although Zambia has had economic challenges, fuel in Zambia remains one of the cheapest in the region.

“The PF government is cushioning its citizens against price fluctuations. We have continued to be on the side of the people. If we use market forces, the price of fuel would be higher but we want to keep the private sector going,” Ms Siliya said.

Mafinga member of Parliament Catherine Namugala (MMD) agreed with Ms Siliya’s statement that government subsidises fuel prices.

“It is true government is heavily subsidising the pump price of fuel. The ideal is to expect a price increase because of the depreciation of the Kwacha,” Ms Namugala said.

And Ms Siliya says the pump price of fuel has remained the same in spite of low international crude oil prices due to the extreme exchange rate volatility.

“While international oil prices have significantly fallen, the Kwacha, however, has had huge and unprecedented depreciation that has cancelled any benefit or gains that could have reflected in reduced pump prices. International oil prices fell by 35 percent while the exchange rate depreciated by 58.5 percent,” Ms Siliya said.

She said the last importation of crude oil was in September last year at the time when the Kwacha was at its lowest against the US Dollar and there has been no importation of crude to date.

Meanwhile, Ms Siliya has assured the nation of enough stock of fuel following the voluntary closure of Indeni due to non-availability of crude oil.

She was responding to a question by Zambezi East MP Sarah Sayifwanda (MMD), who asked how long the current stock of fuel would last in the wake of the closure of Indeni.

“Do not panic. We have enough fuel. Indeni only processes 50 percent of fuel while the other 50 percent comes by road. Hopefully, Indeni will open by the end of this month,” Ms Siliya said.

Ms Siliya said Indeni was shut voluntarily because the crude oil that was supposed to be processed was contaminated.

“We did tests at the port before the crude was pumped into our pipeline and found that it is contaminated, so we sent it back,” she said.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Honorable Siliya you are doing a very good job….puteni ichimwela

    Yes the Pope told Zambians to vote for Edgar (PF )

    I thank you

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  2. But who’s ordering this gong’nga crude? This is the second time this is happening. Isn’t there a way of carrying out tests at the actual source before incurring huge logistical costs? One would think we would learn from past mistakes but awe sure!

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    • Where are we buying our oil from? If it is from Gunvor which was formed only a decade ago and is now one of the world’s biggest oil traders it is mired in corruption with alleged links to Vladimir Putin. The Economist in a section of a special report on Russia entitled “Grease my palm” (29 November 2008) accused Gunvor and its co-founder, Gennady Timchenko of corruption. So if we are buying crude oil from a company that is corrupt should we be surprised that we get tainted crude oil because the deal is corrupt.

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  3. Dora siliya is the one decision by edgar that has puzzled me! I know we need mmd but siliya? Awe! in developed economies she wouldn’t be minister! Lets build our zed guys starting with the caliber of people in government! Eish…it hurts!!!

    And this susidy story is a pure lie! Zambians are not fools!

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  4. PF pouring sweet talks on our gullible citizens. Unfortunately the bait seems to be irresistible. Poor Zambia!

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  5. When fuel per barrel was $120 and the exchange rate was K4’800,we were buying petrol at K8,700.If you do your mathematics computation well, when fuel per barrel is at $32 now and Kwacha against the dollar exchange rate is K11.50.People should be buying petrol now at K7.65 taking into account all that variables like depreciation of Kwacha. Siliya stop cheating people We know what you are doing. PF Government under Edgar has never been a sincere, you are funding for your party.We know very well that immediately we usher in a new government in August when they will reduce fuel immediately.

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    • “She said the last importation of crude oil was in September last year at the time when the Kwacha was at its lowest against the US Dollar and there has been no importation of crude to date.” If I understood her correctly this means that the last fuel consignment was bought at about k15= 1 US$ (at its lowest). I believe in calling a spade a spade. Your calculation is not correct. My bone of contention with the PF is that during its campaign it promised to reduce the price of fuel because the price of fuel was the highest in the region but now that it is in gov’t it has found out that fuel is heavily subsidized. In short do not believe what parties promise to do when they are vying for office.

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