We salute the bold steps taken by Minister of Energy Christopher Yaluma, in tackling the issue of contaminated comingled feedstock that damaged the Indeni Oil Refinery.
The minister has made it very clear that he will get to the bottom of the issue and those responsible will be disciplined to ensure that due care attention and commitment to duty are uppermost among those Zambians and citizens who are entrusted with major responsibilities such as securing this country’s energy resources.
There’s far too much laxity and pedestrian attitude towards public resources. It is this attitude that saw an entire shipment of contaminated feedstock get discharged at Dar es salaam then handed over to Tazama for onward transportation to Indeni Refinery.
Instead of undertaking the usual precautionary measures to test that the feedstock was correct, Indeni proceeded to feed the plant resulting n damage that caused several shutdowns and eventually was sorted out using expensive chemicals.
This series of mistakes need not have happened if those running laboratories and assay stations periodically examined the samples to determine their suitability for the Indeni refinery.
This was not done because people were slovenly, incompetent and at worst undisciplined and therefore cavalier and unsuitable for the positions they hold.
There is absolutely no way the Indeni management can be absolved from blame and culpability in the damage that was caused to the plant.
They have a duty and responsibility to undertake consignment evaluation and periodic spot assay of the comingled crude being fed into the refinery.
Failure to determine the quality of the feedstock is gross incompetence and mismanagement and that is why we agree with the Minister that he should take serious measures that will send a clear signal to all those manning sensitive institutions to be extra vigilant and careful when they handle equally sensitive national assets.
It is very sad that Zambia work culture has always been ascribed to the ‘I don’t care” mentality which is why employers are sometimes forced to employ foreigners in such sensitive positions as security guards because locals cannot be trusted.
This is even true with till operators among some of our chain stores, who must be supervised closely to eliminate the incidents of conniving and expert shop lifting using the tills.
We agree that heads must roll and the sooner this happens, the better for all.