Chakwera concedes defeat, says Malawi facing fuel shortage


President Lazarus Chakwera has admitted that fuel shortage caused by forex scarcity has hit Malawi for several weeks now, and the crisis has affected manufacturing, businesses, work and domestic life.

Chakwera has disagreed with Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) and National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) which claimed that Malawi has overflowing fuel reserves.

NOCMA recently described the lack of fuel in various filing stations across the country as a temporary challenge caused by high demand due to a show by musician Kizz Daniel. The company said it would release million litres of fuel from its reserves to stabilize the situation. However, the fuel shortage has persisted.

Speaking yesterday in Lilongwe, Chakwera said forex issues are the root of the problem of fuel shortage.

To deal with the issue, Chakwera said his administration has  already secured $28 million from local banks for this purpose and is in pursuit of another $50-million-dollar facility for the same.

“Right now, we have over 6 million litres being brought into the country, while at the same time doubling the daily distribution of the product from our reserves to ease the burden.

“Going forward,  I have instructed the Reserve Bank of Malawi to prioritise fuel procurement in the allocation of any forex we secure,” Chakwera said.

Meanwhile, economist Betchani Tchereni has faulted NOCMA and MERA for lying to Malawians.

“Following the president’s statement, it is clear that on fuel shortage, MERA and NOCMA lied to Malawians that it was some musician, a soccer match and other activities that dried pumps in the capital city. What do we say about “lying by a public servant again?” I expect some sort of a disciplinary action against the lying public officials. The President has told us that its shortage of Foreign Exchange/currency, not the musician or social activities empty spinner we were subjected to,” Tchereni wrote on Facebook.


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