THE UPND says the current shortages of petrol and diesel is a result of high levels of incompetence by those charged with the responsibility to manage the affairs of the country.
Party energy chairman Charles Kaisala said the UPND was appalled by the casual approach exacerbated by incompetence by the Patriotic Front government in the management of important sectors of the economy such as energy.
“The current shortages of petrol and diesel in the country was as a result of high levels of incompetence by those charged with the responsibility to manage the affairs of our country,” he said.
Kaisala said the energy sector drives the economic agenda of any nation, but that to those in PF there seems to be no seriousness in the way they were running the affairs of the country, except corruption.
“All their dealings are imbued with corruption –how much should benefit certain individuals from certain procurements? Unfortunately, this approach of tenderprenuership rather than meritorious consideration by the PF regime has contributed to poor service delivery,” he said. “For the past few days, Lusaka, Copperbelt and most parts of the country have been hit with fuel shortage, especially petrol, mainly due to a strike by tanker drivers. The standoff, which has been there for months has exposed the PF’s incapacity to deal with complex issues. Like our president Mr Hakainde Hichilema said on his Facebook page, the government must immediately attend to tanker and truck drivers’ plight in an amicable way for the sake of our country and avoid stressing citizens further.”
Kaisala said tanker and truck drivers were essential workers as they move the wheels of the economy and putting a blind eye to their grievances would lead to catastrophic consequences that would affect everyone, including those in the PF.
He said people’s lives and economic activities had been adversely affected as they spend long hours on queues or looking for fueling stations that might be lucky to have some stock.
“Even simple issues under PF end up in a crisis situation! Together, we can end this mess by voting for UPND on August 12 general elections,” Kaisala said.
He said the UPND in office would give a 100 per cent allocation to local transporters as the country had more than enough tankers to transport fuel.
“We are very much cognisant of the fact that the petroleum sub sector is riddled with a lot of problems ranging from inadequate policies to legal framework which require to be sorted out for smooth and cost-effective management of the sub sector,” said Kaisala. “There is also urgent need to identify important stakeholders in the petroleum industry and making critical choices that are important for the smooth operation of the sub sector. Let’s remove this sickening incompetence by voting out the Patriotic Front.”