Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Keeping fuel in homes illegal, says Police, Ema

By Munyaradzi Musiiwa

Police have warned the public, motorists and illegal fuel dealers against storing fuel in their homes or public places as this is in breach of public safety regulations as well as environmental laws.

A group of jerry cans and propane tanks sit on shelves in a wooden shed.
A group of jerry cans and propane tanks sit on shelves in a wooden shed.

Acting Midlands Police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said police are concerned that illegal fuel dealers, motorists and the public in general had become a law unto themselves by illegally storing highly flammable and dangerous substances in their homes and public places.

Asst Insp Mukwende said the police, as prescribed by the Constitution, are obliged to protect and secure the lives and property of the people.

“We are carrying out an awareness campaign concerning fuel storage in homes or public places which is occurring in different parts of the province. This situation shows that members of the community are not respecting public safety.

It is sad to note that some members of the community continue to become law unto them by storing highly flammable and dangerous substances such as petrol and diesel at their homes which constitutes an offence,” she said.

Asst Insp Mukwende said it was an offence to store highly flammable and dangerous substances in homes.

“We are appealing to members of the public to desist from panic buying and hoarding fuel inclusive of substances such as petroleum gas. This will pose danger to members of the community considering high temperatures as this may result in destruction of property and loss of life.

“Our mandate derived from section 219 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which empowers police to protect and secure the lives and property of the people. It is our concern that we educate people about their safety,” she said.

Environmental Management Agency also weighed in warning public against illegally transporting and storing fuel.

Ema Midlands provincial manager, Mr Benson Bhasera said petrol and diesel were classified as hazardous substances whose usage, storage and disposal should be monitored by Government. Mr Bhasera said for any person to be able to transport or store fuel they require transportation and storage licences.

“According to the statutory instrument 12 of 2007, petrol and diesel are classified as hazardous substances. According to SI12, one requires a licence to transport and store them.

The storage facilities should have been approved by Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ). What people are doing to use plastic containers, and storing fuel in their homes is illegal. These substances are corrosive and highly flammable.

So due to high temperatures these fuels are bound to explode and cause harm to people and property,” he said. Sunday News.

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