Energy Minister Newton Kambala has said the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) never dictated to National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) names of firms to be included on the list of fuel suppliers.
He further expressed concern that, if not resolved, the standoff between the two organisations had the potential to negatively affect the supply of fuel to the country.
The minister told Parliament Monday that Mera did not give Nocma approval to procure fuel after considering the issue of high premium by some of thesuppliers.
“This was done in keeping with Mera’s mandate [as per] Section 9C of the Energy Regulatory Act, which provides that Mera should approve tariffs and prices of energy sales and services,” he said.
Kambala said evidence indicates that Mera only recommended that Nocma should add two more suppliers to the list of suppliers but never dictated names.
The minister further dismissed Natural Resources Committee of Parliament’s call for Mera’s board to be dissolved, arguing that the call was premature.
He added that there was no evidence indicating that the Mera board had done anything wrong.
On the issue of fuel supply brokers, Kambala said it was not mandatory for transporters to join as those interested in joining did so out of their own volition.
The Natural Resources and Climate Change Committee made a number of recommendations including that the broker be removed from the fuel supply chain.
Nocma supplies not less than 50 percent of the country’s fuel.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.