Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Missing fuel deal above board – Mangoma

Missing fuel deal above board – Mangoma

By Guthrie Munyuki, Deputy News Editor
Sunday, 13 February 2011 20:01

HARARE – Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma has said
allegations that he flouted government procedures in sanctioning procurement
of fuel by a little-known South African company are “a storm in a tea cup”.

Mangoma said the deal was above aboard and there was no need to raise panic
buttons although his permanent secretary Justin Mupamhanga told a
Parliamentary committee on energy and power that “we were hoodwinked”.

“He (Mupamhanga) didn’t tell me that. He is doing a double speak. I don’t
see where the loss is and don’t know why the panic buttons are there,” said

Mangoma is accused of allowing PetrolTrade, a new company replacing former
fuel procurement agency NOCZIM, to procure the fuel ahead of local reputable
companies without going to tender.

PetrolTrade settled for South African company – Nooa Petroleum – which had
promised to deliver five million litres of fuel within 48 hours at the
height of fuel shortages in January.

Nooa Petroleum was paid US$ 4.4 million from the US$6 million received from
Treasury. The other US$ $1.6million was spent on ZIMRA taxes and levies for
the undelivered five million litres of fuel.

Mangoma dismissed allegations that the fuel company deal was dubious and
instead revealed that Nooa Petroleum was a bona fide firm.

“The fact that they are not known here does not make them a fly-by-night
company. Those who say they are dubious could be other players because they
fear new entrants.

“I am told Nooa Petroleum have already delivered more than 1 million litres.
They encountered delays because there was derailment and the track was
blocked between Matola and Rutenga.

‘All the five million litres are for the Southern Districts such as
Beitbridge and other towns in Matabeleland,’ explained Mangoma.

He said the South African company would deliver the rest of the consignment
in due course and would be scouring the local market for business in the
near future.

However, Mangoma did not explain why the fuel is coming now when the US$4.4
million was released on the understanding that Nooa Petroleum would deliver
fuel within 48 hours from date of payment.

The minister’s critics said the procurement of fuel should have gone to
tender as agreed by the National Fuel Procurement Committee, whose members
are from major Zimbabwean oil companies, Noczim and the Ministry itself.

They argued the Procurement Committee could buy or import fuel from a list
of Government Tender board-approved reputable international oil supplying

But Mangoma said PetrolTrade was not obliged to tender the deal because they
were a private company that assumed the role of NOCZIM which had been
created as a private company.

“The industry was liberalised a long time ago and that procurement committee
no longer exists. The fuel companies created a traders association which
formed the national procurement body as a voluntary body.

“I did not want to sanction a body that is voluntary and could not do things
enforceable to anyone,” Mangoma said.

He also disputed claims that he had acted illegally by appointing Griffin
Revanewako as managing director of PetrolTrade before the Energy Regulatory
Bill had been passed into law.

A lot of flak has been directed at Mangoma for allegedly rushing to set up
PretolTrade and National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOICZIM)
without waiting for the Bill to become law and signed by President Robert

The Bill was passed by Parliament in December and sailed through the Senate
on February 8 during its first sitting for 2011; a day after Mangoma’s
office told a parliamentary team that they had been duped of US$5million.

““Those querying this are acting from ignorance. NOCZIM is not a parastal.
It was not set up by a statute and I can’t see any reason why it should be
taken away by a statute,” said Mangoma.

“There is no connection between that Bill and PetrolTrade. It was an issue
sanctioned by cabinet sometime ago.”

PetrolTrade will takeover national fuel importation from NOCZIM service
stations countrywide; while the newly-created NOICZIM, now manages fuel
storage tanks in Msasa, Mabvuku, Feruka and the oil pipeline from Harare to

Last month, fuel shortages disrupted business as panic returned following
the dry pumps at service stations across the country.

The parallel market briefly resurfaced as a result of the sudden woes which
triggered bad memories of the 2000 – 2008 economic meltdown.


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