Burundi fuel crisis: Not only lacking foreign currency, also gov. sanctioned only 2 Petroleum importers!

The Ministry of Energy Come Manirakiza have ordered that the Petroleum at Petroleum Stations are ordered to only sell their Petroleum products between 07.00 AM to 18.00 PM. As part of the order from the Ministry this was ordered: “Distribution of petroleum products is carried out solely at petrol stations and only during the day, ie from 7.00 am to 6.00 pm. Any distribution of these products outside the above mentioned times and places will be severely penalized in accordance with the law, in particular by closing the service station, seizing the product, administering the fine, without prejudice to criminal proceedings” (Ministere de l’Energie et des Mines – N/Ref: 760/CAB/710/2017).

So the state plans to fine the stations that are selling later and not in scheduled time will be fined and penalized. This is measured done because of the fuel crisis, since the state struggles with imports. To prove how volatile the situation is this part of the measure from the Ministry to the Petroleum Stations:

All distributors of petroleum products are required to distill, without interruption, all the quantity purchased from the importers. For this purpose, they must keep daily records of the distillation indexes of these products informing them, with accuracy on the indexes of departure and closing of the day” (Ministere de l’Energie et des Mines – N/Ref: 760/CAB/710/2017).

There are reports why the Republic under President Pierre Nkurunziza lacks fuel:

“Daniel Mpitabakana, director in charge of petroleum in Burundi’s Ministry of Energy and Mines, attributed the crisis to “a technical problem at the Burundi Revenue Authority.” (…) “Another source said that fuel importers have run short of foreign currency to buy fuel, hence the shortage” (Havyarimana, 2017). So the other source are most like more honest than the Director who doesn’t want the CNDD-FDD to lose face abroad.

But the fuel crisis has been rolling for awhile as the reports goes back into early March, as the world are finally catching on it. Therefore, the reports earlier in March proves how bad it really it is:

““For over two weeks, we have no fuel. I do not know what has happened, “said one“KOBIL” gas station attendant” at Kamenge. The same situation is observed at ‘ENGEN’ gas station in Kamenge, north of Bujumbura. The pump attendant says it has been almost one month they have no fuel” (…) “Only the ENGEN and KOBIL gas stations were not providing fuel but others were supplying fuel to their customers. “We have not had fuel for over two weeks. The ‘KOBIL’ company could not stock up fuel because of the lack of foreign currency,”says the manager of the KOBIL gas station in Musaga, south of Bujumbura” (Manishatse, 2017). So if the East African Report took from this sort of report, the fuel crisis has been running before beginning of February 2017.

Here some other local reports that directly says it all: “OLUCOME, a local corruption watchdog, says mismanagement of the fuel department is the source of the problems. It accuses the director of the department of having shown favouritism and reduced from eight to two (Delta and Interpetrol) the number of companies allowed to import fuel” (Habonimana, 2017). So there are not only the foreign exchange, but also the Director Mpitabakana who has made decisions to cut importers. Therefore, the ones who are left are making it more fragile to get fuel into the republic. Not only just the lacking foreign currency, but also the favoritism of certain importing companies. Peace.


Havyarimana, Moses – ‘Fuel shortage adds to Burundi’s woes’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/business/Fuel-shortage-Burundi-economy/2560-3910928-iuyh07/index.html

Habonimana, Innocent – ‘Cause of fuel shortage: “No one will tell you the truth”’ (02.05.2017) link: http://www.iwacu-burundi.org/englishnews/cause-of-fuel-shortage-no-one-will-tell-you-the-truth/

Manishatse, Lorraine Josiane – ‘Fuel shortage in Bujumbura city’ (07.03.2017) link:http://www.iwacu-burundi.org/englishnews/fuel-shortage-in-bujumbura-city/

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