MERA closes Total gas station over fuel overcharging – Malawi 24

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The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) has closed the Murray Total petrol station in Lilongwe after attendants were caught overcharging fuel prices.

According to MERA’s head of consumer affairs, Vitumbiko Sakala, the development follows several complaints the regulator has received from motorists about unfair trading practices at the petrol station which is in Zone 4.

Sakala told local media that gas station attendants took advantage of the current fuel shortage in the country and started charging above the recommended pump prices for diesel and gasoline.

Acting on the complaints, Sakala said the regulator rushed to the scene to verify information they received about the overload, a development which was followed by the sealing of the petrol station.

“We received a complaint that the gas station was overcharging customers who wanted access to fuel. MERA sets recommended pump prices and the prices at which customers purchased fuel from this station were not those recommended.

“When we came to investigate we found this to be true so because of this we have suspended sales here. We have asked the service station to ensure that they rectify their internal control so that the situation will not happen again,” Sakala said.

Sakala has since warned other petrol stations found to be in malpractice to immediately stop claiming that the regulator will not hesitate to act on complaints about overcharging customers amid the fuel crisis.

He further said that the station will remain closed for the next two weeks as the regulatory authority reviews the situation and considers the way forward.

Meanwhile, Murray Total service station supervisor Ganizani Banda has apologized to the general public for the misconduct which he says will not happen again.

Currently, the recommended pump price for gasoline is K1,746.00 per liter, diesel is K1,920.00 per liter, paraffin at K1,261 per liter while the price of petroleum gas liquefied is 2600 K.

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