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Mera warns on fuel supply

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BLAMES FOREIGN EXCHANGE SHORTAGE— Khonje

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) spokesperson Fitina Khonje says, since the forex supply situation has not normalised, fuel supply disruptions will continue.

In a statement released on Monday, the Mera spokesperson indicated that fuel supplies may take time to normalise.

“The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority is advising the general public that recovery of the fuel supply chain that has been affected by foreign exchange challenges will be gradual,” Khonje said

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Mera has since urged the public to desist from buying fuel from vendors.

During his appearance before members of a joint parliamentary committee on trade and industry, Mera chief executive officer Henry Kachaje said the country needs $600 million annually to have stable supply of fuel.

According to Kachaje, fuel, notably diesel, scarcity was due to non-functionality of the Kapichira Hydro- Electricity Power Station, which has increased pressure on fuel consumption. .

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He also indicated that, currently, the country has, through tobacco sales, been generating around $200 million annually.

Last month, President Lazarus Chakwera ordered the Reserve Bank of Malawi to prioritise the buying of fuel in any foreign currency the country can secure to deal with the problem of fuel shortage.

The shortage has forced drivers to wait on queues for hours on end, sometimes overnight.

The scarcity of fuel is largely attributed to the shortage of foreign exchange, especially United States dollars.

The problem is more rampant in central and northern Malawi, where many pump stations have run dry for weeks.

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