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Don’t store fuel at home — police

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 motorist refuels at a dealer along Nketa Drive in Nketa in December 2017. Despite danger posed to property by keeping drums of fuels inside houses, some people continue doing so. 

Acting Midlands police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said police were 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, were 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,” she said. “This situation shows that members of the community are not respecting public safety.

“It is sad to note that same 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.”

Asst Insp Mukwende said it was an offence to store highly flammable and dangerous substances in homes and urged the public should desist from that.

“We are appealing to members of the public to desist from panic buying and hoarding fuel inclusive of substances such as petroleum gas,” she said. “This will pose danger to members of the community considering high weather 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 then lives and property of the people. It is our concern that we educate people about their safety.”

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 who 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,” he said. “According to SI12, one requires a licence to transport and store them. The storage facilities should have been approved by Standards Association of Zimbabwe.

“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.” The Herald

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