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Puma probing fuel ‘contamination’

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Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority and Puma yesterday said they were yet to get results from fuel samples sent to Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) following reports that fuel at some Puma filling stations was contaminated.

“We have taken samples to MBS and Puma has also taken samples to MBS. We are yet to get the results,” said Mera’s Director of Fuels, Alinafe Mkavea.

But Mkavea downplayed the scare, arguing if the fuel consignment was contaminated, many vehicles would have been stuck in Lilongwe.

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“At Area 18, they left 32,000 litres while 8,000 litres were delivered at Gemini and 12,000 at Area 23, making a total of 52,000 litres. Assuming every vehicle bought 50 litres, there would be over 1,000 vehicles stuck in Lilongwe. And if fuel is contaminated, a vehicle cannot move,” said Mkavea trashing social media reports, saying most of the issues posted on social media are not true.

Puma Managing Director, David Lanjesi, said Puma has received more complaints and added that as a company, they are not treating the matter casually.

“We are the biggest oil company. We are not taking it casually. We have continued to receive complaints. We are still waiting for the results,” Lanjesi said.

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He also echoed Mkavea’s sentiments that if the fuel was contaminated, many vehicles in Lilongwe would have been at a stand-still. He said the consignment under controversy was finished on Friday.

From Wednesday, motorists thronged Area 18, Area 23 and Gemini Puma filling stations with complaints that their vehicles were misfiring after using fuel they bought from the three stations.

When The Daily Times crew visited Area 18 Filling Station around 4pm on Wednesday, there were already 22 recorded complaints. Supervisors at both Area 18 and Gemini filling stations refused to discuss anything with the media.

But one of the motorists at Area 18 filling station who had bought fuel there on Monday, Kondwani Nyemba, said his car started misfiring and was wondering what was happening to it. Later he said, when he read on social media about the three filling stations having “contaminated” fuel, he concluded that it was the fuel he had bought at the filling station.

“I came to lodge a complaint. My car is misfiring. I bought fuel here on Monday,” he said.

MBS Director General, Davlin Chokazinga, said the matter was for Mera to handle.

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