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Zera, police raid illegal gas dealers

by Staff reporter
07 Mar 2024 at 00:09hrs | Views
AT LEAST 250 liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dealers were last year arrested for illegally selling the fuel in a joint operation involving the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), police and the Environmental Management Agency (Ema).

Zera chief executive Edington Tapera Mazambani confirmed the raids, adding that the operation against illegal LPG dealers is ongoing.

"Zera is aware of these illegal LPG operators and we are carrying out initiatives to weed them out. So far, over 30 048kg cylinders have been confiscated from these illegal operators for destruction," he said.

"The penalty of selling gas without a licence is a Level 9 offence and penalties are usually determined by the court according to this scale."

He said illegal LPG operators posed safety threats to their surroundings and the communities they operate in.

Mazambani accused the illegal gas dealers of causing loss of life and property through improper handling of gas, resulting in fire incidents.

"Cylinders are designed to withstand high pressures under normal operating conditions and to relieve any excess pressure build up if necessary. However, generally poor handling of LPG cylinders can cause accidents," he said.

"For one to operate as a LPG retailer they should obtain local authority permits to run LPG business, obtain Ema clearance to handle hazardous substances. They should construct suitable premises with approved equipment to handle LPG, obtain a Zera licence to start trading in LPG, procure LPG from a licensed LPG wholesaler and employ trained LPG filler."

He advised members of the public not to buy LPG from illegal dealers.

He, however, said there were plans to review the LPG licensing regulations to suffocate the illegal gas dealer businesses.

Source - newsday

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