LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo was last Saturday denied diesel by a fuel attendant at Zupco’s Belvedere depot on grounds that it was an abuse of the facility.
n Wednesday Chombo, whose ministry oversees the operations of Zupco, confirmed the incident that saw him getting the fuel after about 20 minutes after the intervention of a senior employee.
In an incident witnessed by the Zimbabwe Independent, Chombo arrived at the depot shortly after 7am in the company of an elderly man and demanded fuel saying he intended to travel to Marondera. But an attendant who said the minister did not have a voucher signed by a Zupco stores manager authorising the release, refused to serve him.
The fuel attendant said in the absence of the voucher it would be difficult to account for the commodity.
“Vakuru vangu vakanditi ndikapa munhu pasina voucher ndinobva ndangonanga kumusha (My superiors said if I give fuel to anyone without a voucher, my job would be finished),” the fuel attendant said.
Chombo had to call for a duty inspector and said he would guarantee their jobs by talking to management at the bus company in the event of any problem, resulting in the fuel attendant giving in.
In an interview, Chombo said he was entitled to the fuel because “Zupco is government and local government is government”, adding that he intended to travel on government business.
On the initial denial of the fuel he said: “I wrote a letter to the management at Zupco for them to know that the young man is doing a good job by refusing to give fuel to some people if proper channels are not followed. I got the fuel because I ended up signing for it, that is why I told him that if any problems arise he should contact me.”
Chombo also said Zupco would be paid for its fuel.