ENERGY Minister Peter Kapala says people should stop alarming the nation with their false fuel pump price predictions.
Oil Marketing Companies Association of Zambia (OMCAZ) president Dr Kafula Mubanga recently said his association anticipated that the fuel pump price would be increased to K30 during this month’s price review.
But in an interview, Thursday, Kapala called for patience among citizens, saying those predicting fuel pump prices should not be listened to because their lies were alarming the nation.
“We always announce every month so just wait, they will announce on Saturday. Just be patient. I hear, is it true that some group who are predicting that fuel will go to K30, it’s a prediction, not a fact huh? Okay let them keep on predicting, eventually, the Zambians will know who is telling the truth. People will be caught out of their lies because they don’t seem to know what they are saying, and they are trying to alarm people unnecessarily. So those people should not be listened to. They should stop [alarming the nation], they should contact me, they should contact ERB, okay,” he said.
“Let them just be a bit patient. Every month, we will be announcing. So why predict something which is not correct? Like last time, what did they predict? They predicted that fuel prices will go to K33. What did we give out? K26.5. So are they experts or are they just African witch doctors who just say ‘I predict this and that’? When they call you or when you call them, caution them that listen let’s not alarm people. Let’s just wait for the official announcement.”
Kapala also wondered which members belonged to “that group”, and whether the association was registered.
“I don’t think there are relevant stakeholders in that group. I don’t think so. Who are they, are they registered? Because you see, I have asked Total, Puma; they are not members. So who are their members? Can you find out for me since you are an investigative journalist? Find out for me who their members are so that we know that they are speaking on behalf of other members who are reputable OMCs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kapala insisted that the government was doing the monthly fuel price adjustments in order to keep up with the trend on the international market owing to the Russia, Ukraine war.
“You have seen what has happened everywhere, I mean it is on television everywhere. If the war ends gradually, we will also move gradually. If it is sudden and all these sanctions are lifted, we will react. That is why we do these price adjustments every month. It’s to keep the trend of what is happening. We don’t want to be left behind, we need to be up to date,” said Kapala.