The decision by ERB, the Energy Regulation Board to increase the pump prices for fuel has been received with shock among some sectors.
Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry EPCCI say that the upward price adjustment will have a negative impact on the country’s economy.
EPCCI Chief Executive Officer, Josephine Chirwa told Breeze Business News that fuel price increments always have an impact on the cost of doing business which eventually affects consumers.
Ms. Chirwa has also observed that the Zambian Kwacha continues to perform poorly against other convertible currencies, which is not good for the economy.
She also says that it is strange that while prices of fuel are going down on the international market, the government through ERB is increasing prices of the commodity.
And motorists and taxi drivers in Chipata have complained over government’s decision to increase the prices of fuel.
Some taxi drivers say that they will also increase fares to avoid making losses especially that the adjustment took effect at midnight.
A check in some filling stations in Chipata found that the prices have already been adjusted upwards using an electronic transmission system, which is controlled by oil marketing companies in Lusaka.
Meanwhile Taxi operators in Lundazi district have expressed concern at Government’s continued change of fuel prices.
Patrick Mumba and Godfrey Zimba told Breeze News in Lundazi that the constant change in fuel prices is causing challenges to their business as commuters don’t easily accept hikes in fares.
The duo says that they will have no choice but to hike the fares.
And a check at filling stations in Lundazi found that petrol is now selling at 8 Kwacha 74 Ngwee from the previous 7 Kwacha 60 Ngwee per litre while diesel is selling at 7 Kwacha 59 Ngwee from the previous price of 6 Kwacha 59 Ngwee per litre.
Paraffin is now selling at 5 Kwacha 40 Ngwee from 4 Kwacha 69 Ngwee per litre.
The ERB has attributed the price increase to the volatile Kwacha, which has been performing poorly against other convertible currencies like the US dollar.