Mwinilunga District in North Western Province has been hit by a shortage of fuel forcing motorists to access the commodity on the black market at exorbitant prices.
The only filling station in the district has had no fuel for close to a week now forcing motorists to buy petrol as high as K40 and diesel at K35 per litre, compared to the official prices of K17.62 for petrol and K15.59 for diesel respectively.
Mwinilunga District Commissioner, Anort Mapulanga has confirmed the development to ZANIS in the district today.
Mr Mapulanga said his office has engaged management at the filling station and advised them to urgently resolve the fuel challenge.
And Bilex Kananda, a taxi driver complained that they are risking the safety of their vehicles because of using fuel from the black market whose quality is not guaranteed.
Mr Kananda said the situation has forced them to hike taxi fares within local routes due to the high prices at which they are buying fuel.
“We have no choice, but to increase the taxi fares because we are buying the fuel at exorbitant prices. Fuel prices keep increasing every day,” he said.
Another taxi driver, Mark Malichanga said business has become difficult because customers are not booking their taxis due to the hiked fares.
Mr Malichanga said the district is expanding and has a lot of economic activities, hence the need to have a reliable filling station to service the area.
Commuters are now paying as high as K50 on local routes which they have been paying K30 to K40.
The motorists have since called on oil marketing companies to consider investing in the fuel sector in the district.
Meanwhile, Mwinilunga Filling Station Manager, Tranex Lupinda attributed the fuel shortage to the long holiday, saying his company could not load fuel from Ndola because the fuel depots do not operate during holidays.
Mr Lupinda assured that the filling station is expected to receive fuel supplies within this week.