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Angry motorists shut down fuel service station

by Staff reporter
10 Dec 2018 at 06:28hrs | Views
ANGRY motorists temporarily closed Total Service Station in Victoria Falls on Friday morning in protest over hoarding of fuel by the garage attendants.

Chaos started on Thursday evening when scores of motorists were told that there was no more petrol after queuing for hours.

Motorists complained about favouritism by petrol attendants who they accused of selling fuel to their friends while the majority of people were being turned away.

Some taxi drivers allegedly cashed in on the situation as they charged $2 to help some vehicle owners jump the queue.

In protest, motorists threatened to assault staff and barricaded the service station using their vehicles.

An Extra City luxury coach which loads passengers at the garage was also delayed as motorists blocked the exit demanding access to fuel.

Total Victoria Falls manager Mr Tinashe Mutambisi reportedly left the premises in a huff as motorists bayed for his blood.

"Some vehicles loaded with drums came to the garage with the intention of hoarding fuel at night. I think the attendants assumed that people would give up after being told that there was no fuel.

"The attendants wanted to sell fuel to their friends and to black market dealers who then re-sell at inflated prices on the streets. Some motorists spent the night in the queue monitoring the situation after seeing some vehicles with drums," said a motorist.

Those who witnessed the skirmishes said motorists threatened to burn some cars that had been assisted by fuel attendants to jump the queue.

"Attendants sold fuel to their friends while everyone was told there was no fuel. They also re-fuelled their own cars which angered motorists. All hell broke loose in the morning when an attendant placed a notice informing people that fuel was finished. People started making noise because they knew it was not true," said a witness.

The Chronicle was told that fuel attendants made an excuse that the fuel was being kept for emergency vehicles like ambulances.

Police intervened in the morning and calmed the situation, after which each motorist was allowed to buy 10 litres of petrol.

Mr Mutambisi denied that the garage was hoarding fuel to sell on the black market.

He said they deliberately reserve some fuel for emergencies.

"Those who bring drums could be hotels because they can't bring generators for fueling. I'm not aware of the issue but all I can say is that we reserve some fuel for prepaid customers. We don't favour anyone and that's why I had to assume duties of attendants to maintain order," said Mr Mutambisi.

Chairperson of the Victoria Falls Fuel Dealers' Association Mr Ozias Marange called for sanity in the fuel industry. "I received calls from people about the issue and what I can say is that if such things are happening police should raid and arrest those doing it," he said.

Source - chronicle