ENERGY Regulation Board (ERB) Consumer Affairs Manager Chipambeso Kasese says the Board has instituted task teams comprising Zambia Police, Drug Enforcement Commission and other security wings to curtail illegal fuel vending in the country.
Mr Kasese stated that illegal fuel vending was not only perpetrated along the highway but also by some licensed filing stations that procure fuel stocks from illegal sources and sell it legitimately at their filling stations to unsuspecting customers.
He added that through the Fuel Marking (FM) programme introduced in 2018 the ERB was now able to curb fuel adulteration and ensure that transit fuel destined for other countries through Zambia does not end up being dumped and sold in the country.
“illegal fuel vendors don’t have licenses so as a regulator we cannot take on them head-on… nevertheless we have in place a task team comprising ERB officers, Zambia Police and Drug Enforcement Commission and other players where we are now trying to tackle this vice… in addition, we have a fuel marking initiative set up as a way to curb illegal fuel vending because illegal fuel vending is not just along the highway but at licensed filling stations also,” Mr Kasese said.
Mr Kasese said this during the ERB Energy Awareness Meeting held in Kapiri Mposhi over the weekend.
And Smart Mwila, a Kapiri Mposhi district official, called for the intensified promotion of alternative sources of energy in the energy mix to counter the over-reliance on hydroelectricity which has led to increased power load management in the country.
Mr Mwila urged the ERB to develop guidelines and render technical assistance to investors showing interest in the generation of renewable energy to cushion the impact of over-dependence on hydroelectricity.
He said the shift towards alternative sources of energy from hydroelectricity should be supported as this was in line with Zambia’s Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), Vision 2030 and the National Energy Policy of 2019.
“Load management by Zesco has been necessitated by increased consumer demand of electricity and poor rainfall patterns experienced in the recent past years …to counter this there is need to enhance the energy mix or promote the alternative energy sources,” he said.