PETROLEUM Transporters Association of Zambia says it has continued to record positive business volumes with an uninterrupted supply and delivery of fuel into the country despite the COVID-19 outbreak.
In an interview, Association secretary general Benson Tembo said business had continued moving amid the virus pandemic as most Zambian transporters were confined to the Mozambique Beira Corridor, which acted as a gateway for both the central interior portion of Mozambique, as well as the land-locked nations of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi.
“We are involved in the distribution of petroleum products, locally, and transportation of petroleum from Beira and Dar es-Salaam so I am sure this is an essential commodity, which is needed badly in the economic activities of this country. I am sure that the mines need fuel for it to run effectively. So, from the time this COVID-19 started, we have continued distributing around the country and we are involved in the transportation of imported fuel because we have seen that borders like South Africa, which have closed. Fortunately, the Beira border is still open, especially for essential commodities like fuel so we are mainly in Beira bringing fuel in the country,” Tembo said.
“Basically, the transportation is going on effectively and fluidly. It has not affected us because we don’t load from South Africa; we load from Beira and Dar es-salaam and, currently, most of the fuel coming into the country is from Beira and the fuel coming in from Tanzania is being driven by Tanzanian transporters. So, Zambian transporters are usually confined to Beira. So, local disruption tankers are moving in the country delivering fuel.”
He said despite the several check points that had been mounted along the Beira Corridor in a bid to stop the spread the of COVID-19, transporters continued delivering services effectively and efficiently.
“Unfortunately, we have this pandemic. I think measures are there as we transverse through Zimbabwe. There are strict checks at major check points and strategic points just as in Mozambique and now in Zambia a lot of measures are being introduced. Our flow is alright; we have been supported by the government each time we face any major delays, we are in touch with authorities and they prevail on any matters that is slowing down supply. The government has been on top of things; we are moving,” said Tembo.