HOME Affairs Deputy Minister, Cde Obedingwa Mguni intercepted a truck smuggling fuel into the country along the Bulawayo – Plumtree Road and has since ordered that police officers who were manning two roadblocks which the truck passed through be investigated.
Cde Mguni came across a Kia truck carrying 2 340 litres of fuel about 20 kilometre just outside Bulawayo headed for the city at around 6 AM on Sunday.
The Deputy Minister was also on his way to Bulawayo. Alfred Moyo and Vusumuzi Dube, both from Plumtree were taken to Donnington police station by Cde Mguni and were arrested.
Cde Mguni told The Chronicle that he had since ordered that police officers who were manning road blocks along that highway be investigated for corruption after they allowed the smuggled fuel to pass through.
“We saw a truck that was swerving and was seemingly overloaded. I ordered the truck to stop and discovered 78 by 30 litre containers of fuel, which had been smuggled into the country from Botswana.
“The two said they bought the fuel in Botswana and were bringing it into Bulawayo to be sold on the black market. I have heard of these people who usually move as a team with two other trucks, and I must say am glad to have finally met some of them.”
Cde Mguni said he was shocked that the two men nearly made it into Bulawayo yet there were a number of road blocks on the road.
Cde Mguni said he instructed the pair to drive to Donnington police station, where he handed them over to police.
“I tasked Donnington, Plumtree and Figtree police to investigate the matter right up to their point of entry, which is Plumtree Border Post.
“I was seriously disappointed by this incident, most of all, our security officers who are standing in dozens on the country’s roads but not executing their duties which include putting an end to corruption,” he said.
He said fuel smuggling is now rampant and this has seriously affected local filling stations.
“In Matabeleland South, fuel smugglers have successfully managed to penetrate into black market trade, resulting in filling stations shutting down. If security is not tightened, then Bulawayo filling stations will very soon shut down too, having fuel sold in houses, which is also dangerous.
“Such trade kills the economy in that it only benefits few individuals, leaving many jobless after filling stations are closed,” said Cde Mguni.The Deputy Minister said penalties for such smugglers should be stiffened as they were only fined only $100, for them to continue with the illegal activities.
Bulawayo Metropolitan police spokesperson, Inspector Precious Simango said the matter was under investigation. chronicle