Saturday, February 27, 2010

It’s irresponsible for govt to trivialise contaminated diesel issue – Nkombo

It’s irresponsible for govt to trivialise contaminated diesel issue – Nkombo
By Kabanda Chulu in Kitwe
Sat 27 Feb. 2010, 07:20 CAT

ENERGY parliamentary committee member Gary Nkombo yesterday advised people to seek compensation from the government if their vehicles and machinery develop faults as a result of using contaminated diesel.

Commenting on the matter where TAZAMA supplied diesel on the market, which had impurities such as water and dust particles, Nkombo said it was irresponsible for the MMD government to trivialise the incident as a simple matter.

“The Ndola Fuel Terminals which are operated by TAZAMA were closed for a very long time to undergo rehabilitation works worth millions of dollars and we expected that all problems had been resolved but how come there are leakages resulting in fuel contamination and it is not a simple matter to separate fuel from water,” said Nkombo.

“Oil marketing companies (OMCs) have been inconvenienced and I urge those people who have used this contaminated diesel and developed faults to seek compensation because it is the failure and irresponsibility of this government and also TAZAMA should explain in no uncertain terms how many quantities are contaminated.”

And energy parliamentary committee chairperson Percy Chanda said the MMD government was not serious with what it was doing.

“People should not be inconvenienced in this way especially that fuel drives the economy in general and why should people be given a commodity that did not pass through quality control system and who is going to pay for the damages to equipment and vehicles?” asked Chanda.

“If TAZAMA does not have a quality control system, let them install it now and if they have, why didn’t people follow the guidelines because this is the second time that fuel is being recalled but the damage has already been done.”

On Monday, TAZAMA offloaded large quantities of diesel on the market, which was later found to contain excess water and mud and concerned OMCs had started returning the contaminated fuel to the terminal.

Energy permanent secretary Teddy Kasonso described the contamination of diesel as a simple matter that would be resolved soon.

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