Zambia: Fuel Hikes Get Consumer Opposition

Consumer Unity & Trust Society has condemned the recent increase in fuel prices saying it goes against market forces.

The Patriotic Front government removed subsidies on fuel and the price of the commodity has gone up to by KR1.63 (K1,630 old currency) while that of petrol has gone up by KR1.75 (K1, 750 old currency).

As a result, a litre of petrol which initially was costing KR8.16 (K8, 160 old currency) will now fetch KR9.91 (K9, 910 old currency) while a litre of diesel which was costing KR7.50 (K7,500 old currency) will now cost KR9.13 (K9, 130 old currency).

It is the first time in the history of Zambia a litre of fuel will now host an equivalent of US $2 and this is leading to protest among consumers including the volatile bus drivers.

CUTS public relations officer Simon Ng’ona said it was strange that the PF government that had instituted a Commission of Inquiry on why there were constant increases in prices had repeated the same trend.

The fuel Commission of Inquiry was chaired by PF secretary general and justice minister Wynter Kabimba who brokered the current oil supply deal with Trafigura and is accused of receiving more commissions from the increases.

PF chief financier Rajan Mathani is understood to be the local representative for Trafigura whose commodity is fetching higher than other competitors that were not “friendly forces” of the PF government

“The recent fuel increase is shocking because we saw a lot of commissions of inquiries trying to establish why there were a lot of increases in prices of fuel and mealie meal and now they have increased,” Ngo’na said.

“This increase will trigger an increase in everything making the cost of living higher.”

With mealie meal prices and electricity tariffs soaring, the PF government on Wednesday announced an increase in fuel price much to the displeasure of ordinary Zambians.

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