Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) has appealed to Government to prosecute Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) for abrogating provisions of Statutory Instrument number 35 of 2021.
Association secretary general Benson Tembo says recently Government directed that 50 percent of the fuel must be transported by locals but this has not come to pass.
He told Smart Eagles that “The Ministry of Energy has directed through the Import waivers letters that were given to the Oil Marketing Companies that at least 50 percent of the allocated volume to be transported by Zambian citizens as stated in the Statutory but some OMCs have ignored these provisions but instead they are giving business to their preferred transporters some of whom are not citizens as prescribed by Citizens Economic and Empowerment Commission Act No.9 of 2006.
“We therefore refer you to Section 8 (1) and (2) on offence which states that a person who contravenes these regulations commits and is liable, on admission, to a fine not exceeding eight thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years or both.
When an offence under these regulation committed by a body corporate or an unincorporated body, with the knowledge, consent or connivance of the Director, Manager, shareholders or partner, that Director, Manager, Shareholders or partner of the body corporate or unincorporated body commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a penalty or term of imprisonment specified under sub regulation (1).
“Some Oil Marketing Companies are in breach of these regulations and in view of this, we demand that the full length of this Statutory Instrument be enforced in the manner as prescribed and stated above,” he says
Mr Mr Tembo says “The Oil Marketing Companies listed below must prove you and us that they are fulfilling the provisions of Statutory Instrument number 35 of 2021 and if not must be charged and prosecuted accordingly.
He named the OMCs as Mt Meru Petroleum Limited,Vivo Energy,Puma Energy, Lake Petroleum Limited and SGC.
Further, he says, upon payment of the fine as stipulated by the law, these companies must be regarded as convicts who cannot do future business with the government of Zambia.
“It is our sincere hope and trust that the prosecution of the offenders be transparent and shall send a clear signal to would be offenders. If this demand is not acted upon as stated as required by law, we shall have no option but to report them to other enforcement agents as stated in Section 2 of the Statutory,” he says.