MORE than 10 fuel operators were last year prosecuted for operating without licences and violating fuel quality regulations, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has said.
Zera chief executive officer Gloria Magombo said the energy regulator increased its monitoring and surveillance, resulting in 12 operators being prosecuted for violating their license conditions.
“During the period under review the authority submitted for prosecution four fuel operators for operating without a licence all of them were convicted and paid fines ranging from $100 to $200.
Additionally four operators were prosecuted and fined $100 each for selling E10 as unleaded petrol,” Magombo said in a 2013 annual report released last week.
“Another four operators were also found guilty of selling contaminated diesel. The diesel was not consistent with the specification and standards as laid out by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe in terms of Statutory Instrument 23 of 2013.”
Magombo said all operators who were convicted for various offences managed to correct the issues raised and were allowed to sell fuel to the public as per the licence condition.”
Magombo said fuel samples that were tested during the year include diesel, blend, E85, ethanol and illuminating paraffin.
She said testing of fuel samples was conducted randomly at retail sites as part of checking compliance and ensuring that consumers were receiving quality product.
In 2013, 98% of samples were quality compliant which was an improvement from 2012 which had 96% compliance rate.
“Zera declared zero tolerance to fuel contaminations. As such, fuel quality audits were intensified on previous offenders since they were mostly likely to repeat the offence.
“We advise players in the petroleum sector to be licensed for their own benefit as well as for the benefit of consumers,” Magombo said.
She however said a total of 469 operators had their sites inspected and licensed during the year 2013 as compared to 230 in 2012
Magombo said Zera would procure a mobile laboratory van which will assist in terms of coverage of the whole country and also turnaround time of test results since results can be obtained within 15 minutes.
The mobile laboratory will also make Zera take prompt action on any dealer found selling contaminated fuel.