Company found guilty of selling contaminated fuel

By Takudzwa Matambura

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has taken a fuel company and its representative to court for allegedly selling contaminated fuel.

Manarbon (Private) Investments representative Mr Hopley Gavin Peter Bligh (65) pleaded guilty to the charges of violating fuel regulations when he appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Gamuchirai Siwadi yesterday.

He was remanded to today for sentence.

Prosecuting, Mr Oscar Madhume alleged that on October 13 last year, ZERA fuel technician Mr Herbert Mataruka visited Manarbon (Private) Investments in the company of a police detective to establish whether or not the dealer was complying with the Petroleum Act and Regulations of 2012.

It is alleged that samples were later tested at ZERA headquarters and it was discovered that the diesel had a flash point of 33,5 degrees Celsius on average against the minimum 57 degrees Celsius as per standards laid down by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).

This implied that it was contaminated with a lighter petroleum product.

It is alleged that further tests were conducted on the fuel products on sale and it was found that it had a flash point which was below the minimum recommended standards.

Some samples were referred to SAZ and the results were 35 degrees Celsius which is against the 57 degrees, in contravention of the Petroleum Act.

Mr Madhume said Bligh had no right to sell diesel which did not conform to national standards. The Herald