Malawi claims on fuels shortage are lies Mozambique

malawi_fuel_shortageMozambican port managers have denied claims by Malawi that the current shortage of fuel in that country is due to congestion in the Mozambican ports of Nacala and Beira.

Two managers of Beira and Nacala ports, Carlos Mesquita and Fernando Couto, described the claims as lies, when interviewed by Radio Mozambique on Monday.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the port of Nacala is well aware that its main problem is not congestion, but the exact opposite chronic under-use. Nacala is regarded as the best deep water port on the east African coast. It does not need to be dredged and ships of any size can dock there.

It could certainly take tankers carrying fuel to Malawi if the Malawians could pay for it. And this seems to be the real problem.

Fernando Couto, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Development Corridor (CDN), which runs the Nacala port and rail system, told the radio that the real cause of Malawis fuel problems is that Malawi is short of foreign currency.

The Malawians have even asked us to lend them fuel, Couto revealed. He stressed that tankers are always granted priority in docking. Certainly, CDN has no interest in sabotaging the supply of fuel to Malawi for when there is no fuel flowing from Nacala to Malawi, CDN does not receive the port and rail fees for that cargo.

Mesquita, the CEO of Cornelder Mozambique, the consortium which runs the port of Beira, also categorically denied the Malawian claims.

Although there are limitations on the size of ship that can dock at Beira, the port is not congested. There must be some other motive, said Mesquita.

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