Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has expressed concern over the irresponsible reporting on social media over fuel scarcity in Lilongwe.
Addressing the media in Lilongwe, MERA chief executive officer Henry Kachaje while confirming that indeed its true that Lilongwe is facing the shortage of fuel, says it is sad that the fake news on fuel is contributing the fuel shortage to depleted reserves.
“What happens is that when there is this fake news , many people activate a pannic buying mode and this end up draining the tanks,” he said.
Kachaje said the sporadic fuel shortage will normalise soon since National Oil Company has released one Million litres.
Kachaje further said MERA is working hand in hand with Petroleum Importers Limited and all stakeholders to have the fuel situation normalise.
He said during the weekend there were some international events in Lilongwe which drove a high demand of fuel.
These activities included an international music show and football games. Kachaje said the situation will normalise soon because as “we speak deliveries are underway”.
NOCMA Deputy Chief Executive Officer Hellen Buruma said the situation will be normalised by the end of business today.
“We would like to assure Malawians that the country has fuel product, both Petrol and Diesel, and continue to receive fuel imports from both the port of Dar es salaam and Beira, despite foreign exchange challenges which has affected the Company’s importation capacity,” she said.
Buluma said NOCMA is aware that over the past forty-eight (48) hours the country has experienced sporadic location-based fuel shortages, especially in Lilongwe and parts of the central region which had led to panic-buying.
“This was mainly because of a surge in demand in Lilongwe and parts of the central region which undermined the weekend supply due to many events that were taking place in the city over the weekend,” she said.
Buluma assured Malawians that the sporadic fuel supply situation is being corrected as product is being released from the Strategic Fuel Reserves as well as from other importers to ensure sustainable availability of fuel at all service stations in Lilongwe and throughout the country.
She said NOCMA continues to work with Government and other stakeholders to ensure that the country has adequate fuel despite the challenges posed by the trends on the global oil market, the Russia Ukraine war as well as the challenges with foreign exchange.
“NOCMA would therefore like to assure the general public that the country will not stock-out despite the sporadic location-based fuel shortages in Lilongwe and other areas and request the public to desist from panic buying,” she added.