Keep­ing fuel in homes il­le­gal, says Po­lice, Ema

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

PO­LICE have warned the pub­lic, mo­torists and il­le­gal fuel deal­ers against stor­ing fuel in their homes or pub­lic places as this is in breach of pub­lic safety reg­u­la­tions as well as en­vi­ron­men­tal laws.

Act­ing Mid­lands Po­lice spokesper­son, As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Ethel Muk­wende said po­lice are con­cerned that il­le­gal fuel deal­ers, mo­torists and the pub­lic in gen­eral had be­come a law unto them­selves by il­le­gally stor­ing highly flammable and dan­ger­ous sub­stances in their homes and pub­lic places. Asst Insp Muk­wende said the po­lice, as pre­scribed by the Con­sti­tu­tion, are obliged to pro­tect and se­cure the lives and prop­erty of the peo­ple.

“We are car­ry­ing out an aware­ness cam­paign con­cern­ing fuel stor­age in homes or pub­lic places which is oc­cur­ring in dif­fer­ent parts of the prov­ince. This sit­u­a­tion shows that mem­bers of the com­mu­nity are not re­spect­ing pub­lic safety. It is sad to note that some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity con­tinue to be­come law unto them by stor­ing highly flammable and dan­ger­ous sub­stances such as petrol and diesel at their homes which con­sti­tutes an of­fence,” she said.

Asst Insp Muk­wende said it was an of­fence to store highly flammable and dan­ger­ous sub­stances in homes.

“We are ap­peal­ing to mem­bers of the pub­lic to de­sist from panic buy­ing and hoard­ing fuel in­clu­sive of sub­stances such as petroleum gas. This will pose dan­ger to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity con­sid­er­ing high tem­per­a­tures as this may re­sult in de­struc­tion of prop­erty and loss of life.

“Our man­date de­rived from sec­tion 219 (1) (a) of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Zim­babwe which em­pow­ers po­lice to pro­tect and se­cure the lives and prop­erty of the peo­ple. It is our con­cern that we ed­u­cate peo­ple about their safety,” she said.

En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency also weighed in warn­ing pub­lic against il­le­gally trans­port­ing and stor­ing fuel.

Ema Mid­lands pro­vin­cial man­ager, Mr Ben­son Bhasera said petrol and diesel were clas­si­fied as haz­ardous sub­stances whose us­age, stor­age and dis­posal should be mon­i­tored by Gov­ern­ment. Mr Bhasera said for any per­son to be able to trans­port or store fuel they re­quire trans­porta­tion and stor­age li­cences.

“Ac­cord­ing to the statu­tory in­stru­ment 12 of 2007, petrol and diesel are clas­si­fied as haz­ardous sub­stances. Ac­cord­ing to SI12, one re­quires a li­cence to trans­port and store them. The stor­age fa­cil­i­ties should have been ap­proved by Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (SAZ). What peo­ple are do­ing to use plas­tic con­tain­ers, and stor­ing fuel in their homes is il­le­gal. These sub­stances are cor­ro­sive and highly flammable. So due to high tem­per­a­tures these fu­els are bound to ex­plode and cause harm to peo­ple and prop­erty,” he said.

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