ZERA rounds up 140 illegal fuel dealers

09 Jul, 2023 - 00:07 0 Views
ZERA rounds up 140 illegal fuel dealers

The Sunday Mail

Comfort Mhaka

NEARLY 140 illegal fuel dealers have been penalised for operating without licences this year, while three other retailers had their operating permits revoked for selling products sourced from unlicensed wholesalers.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) imposed fines ranging from US$50 to US$600 on individual offenders.

Zera chief executive officer Mr Edington Mazambani said the industry regulator will continue to weed out illegal fuel dealers.

“In 2023, 137 petroleum companies have been prosecuted for operating without the requisite retail licences,” he said.

“Fines ranging from US$50 to US$600 have been imposed on the different companies.”

Eight retailers, he said, were prosecuted last month for pegging fuel prices above prescribed levels.

“So far, three retail operators have had their licences suspended for purchasing fuel from unlicensed wholesalers.

“The operation is not about recovering fuel but enforcing licensing regulations and long-term order in the sector.

“Most unlicensed retailers sell petroleum products well below gazetted prices because they would have procured their products illegally.

“Investigations are underway but it is suspected they get the fuel through fraudulent activities that include smuggling, misdeclaration and adulteration.”

Mr Mazambani warned the public “not to be lured by very low fuel prices”, adding that such products would have been tempered with.

“In June, Zera prosecuted eight fuel companies for selling products above the prescribed prices.

“This is done to protect the public from unscrupulous operators bent on making super profits,” he added.

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