Sprouting of unlicensed gas vendors worrying: Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera)
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has expressed concern over the sprouting of unlicensed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vendors across the country posing a danger to themselves and the communities they operate in.
Unlicensed vendors of the highly explosive energy source are selling the commodity without following due licensing procedures.
Speaking during a renewable energy conference in Kwekwe recently, Zera Chief Executive Officer, Mr Edington Mazambani said the regulatory authority was working with relevant authorities to come up with a Statutory Instrument (SI) which empowers them to pounce on the unlicensed vendors bring normalcy in the energy sector.
“We have noted with concern the proliferation of unlicensed vendors who are setting up stalls and selling LP gas everywhere, especially in the newly established suburbs. These people are doing so without following the set down standards and licensing requirements which also include inspection before they start selling the gas,” said Mr Mazambani.
He said once the SI is ready, the regulatory authority will target gas wholesalers.
“We are taking a move where we will be empowered to revoke licences from wholesalers who sell the commodity to unlicensed vendors. Once we catch the unlicensed vendors, we would punish both the vendors and their supplier by taking their licences,” said Mr Mazambani.
He said gas usage by Zimbabweans was satisfactory adding it was a sign they embraced gas as a source of energy reducing the load demand from the power grid.
“From the time we started measuring gas usage in 2014, it was about 4 million kilogrammes per year but in 2021 it was 56,5million kilogrammes per year. This shows that Zimbabweans have managed to accept gas as a source of energy which is clean,” he said.
On fuel sold in local currency, Mr Mazambani said modalities were being put in place to ensure that fuel sold in RTGs is available across the country.
“We have identified 57 sites across the country which will be used to disburse fuel in local currency. We are however working on modalities to ensure that the fuel is not abused hence the installation of monitoring gadgets at all the sites,” he said.
The fuel monitoring system was established by Harare Institute of Technology and will be used to monitor fuel movement once delivered at a station.
“We have already equipped one office in Harare with the technology and we will be rolling out the gadget across the identified sites and then we will start delivering the fuel otherwise we will be running at a loss,” he said.