At first we approached Tazama who were reportedly responsible for the dispatch of the oil, but we were firmly told that such information could not be released. We then went to the transporting organization which had taken time and resources to publish an advertisement lauding the permanent secretary of energy for his sterling effort in ensuring oil transportation to Malawi and they too could not tell us. They insisted the information was confidential.
We then went to the permanent secretary at the minister of energy. He too did not have a copy of the list of transporters to Malawi. But all the people we contacted acknowledged that k26 billion worth of fuel has been transported from Zambia to Malawi but nobody is willing to tell us who has transported this oil to Malawi and on what terms it has been transported, who raised the tender, who adjudicated and finally who awarded. These questions we thought would be academic straightforward and therefore readily available to anyone inquiring if indeed there was nothing to hide.
But we fear that a lot more is hidden than meets the eye and little wonder that allusions to corruption, abuse of funds, and downward theft arise. It stands to reason that a gigantic exercise of this nature involving large volumes of fuel must have required documentation at dispatch stage, transportation and eventually receipt of the commodity. It also stands to reason that such records would be readily available to the media or indeed to any party wishing to gain an understanding of the exercise whether for academic or practical use. That is why it is outstanding that there should be such an embargo on information starting from source at Tazama where the oil is loaded, then there is a black of information as to who was loaded and by how many litres and at what cost.