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Illegal Fuel Service Stations Sprout

Illegal Fuel Service Stations Sprout

Rusape Municipality has launched an operation targetting illegal fuel service stations operating at various locations in the town.

The illegal service stations, which have mushroomed across Manicaland Province, sell diesel, petrol and paraffin in places without proper storage and dispensing facilities, putting the lives of members of the public in danger.

The fuel is being sold at an average price of US$1 per litre against conventional pump prices of about US$1.40 at registered and licensed service stations.

The Manica Post has established that the bulk of the fuel is siphoned from tankers by cross-border haulage truck drivers who sell it on the black market at cheap prices.

The fuel is sold from overhead tanks or broken down vehicles and is measured manually when selling to members of the public.

Acting Rusape town secretary, Fanseni Shuwa, said all the illegal fuel establishments should be shut down as they do not meet required standards. Said Shuwa:

They are operating illegally. They are not licensed, and our security and fire squads are investigating that matter. We cannot licence someone whose operations does not meet the required standards.

Their storage tanks are overhead instead of underground. It is a dangerous fire hazard.

The Rusape complex houses people specialising in welding, a grinding mill, motor vehicle and tyre repairs, tailoring and a canteen, thereby making it a dangerous concoction.

They do not meet fire, public health and environmental standards, and should be shut down.

Service stations should be licenced by the local authority, the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulating Authority (ZERA).

ZERA chief executive officer, Edington Mazambani, said those engaged in the illegal practice should be reported to the police. Said Mazambani:

Individuals are not allowed to store or sell fuel at undesignated sites without relevant licences from the local authority of EMA.

It is illegal and dangerous to siphon fuel from trucks in plastic containers and anyone found selling fuel at undesignated places and without a licence should be reported to the police for prosecution.

Acting Manicaland provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Wiseman Chinyoka, said the police conducts constant raids against the illegal fuel dealers.

More: The Manica Post

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