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Increase in fuel prices will eliminate middlemen – PTAZ

THE Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) says the increase of fuel prices will eliminate middlemen and bring normalcy to the country’s economy.

PTAZ secretary general Benson Tembo said the PF was booted out of power because it was not honest in dealing with the energy sector.

Tembo said the adjustment of fuel pump prices by the Energy Regulation board was long overdue. He believes that apart from benefiting players in the fuel subsector, it would also address the issue of middlemen and bring the country’s economy to normalcy.

Tembo said the upward price adjustment on fuel would have been effected in November 2020 had it not been for political influence by the previous regime.

He said this during the Ndola Press Association (NPA) fundraising Gala dinner on Saturday.

“So this move is long overdue. The increase or adjustment in fuel prices could have been effected in November 2020, had it not been for political influence by the previous regime. That is why the PF was booted out because it was damaging the oil subsector,” Tembo said.

He said oil marketing companies have been calling for an increase in fuel prices because of the landing costs which resulted into Indeni refinery not being fully operational.

Tembo said along the supply chain, the landing costs into the country went up, and the OMC demanded that government increases the pump price which the PF regime was hesitant to do.

Copperbelt Province minister Elisha Matambo, in a speech read for him by provincial permanent secretary Augustine Kasongo, said lack of transport affects several media houses in the country.

Matambo said the decision by NPA to fundraise for a utility bus is timely as it would help journalists in the district to reach every corner and bring to the fore well researched and balanced news.

He called on the business community in the province to help the association reach its targeted amount and procure the bus which would streamline movement of its members.

Meanwhile, NPA president Frank Ching’ambu reiterated that lack of proper transport has been among other challenges that have negatively affected the operation of journalists not only in the district but countrywide.

Ching’ambu said having reliable transport at their disposal, journalists would be able to bring out well researched, balanced and informative stories.

He said many journalists in the district have been grappling with transport, a situation he said denies communities to make informed decisions because of lack of well researched information.

“Just as commerce recognises transport as one of the key aids to trade, so do journalists consider it when it comes to smooth gathering and dissemination of information. Lack of transport has been a huge challenge that main journalists have struggled with. The reason we are here today is seeking a solution,” said Ching’ambu.

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