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Tagwirei Exits Fuel Sector

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BUSINESSMAN Mr Kuda Tagwirei has left the fuel sector after selling his 51 percent stake in Sakunda Holdings in December last year.

Trafigura Pte Limited says the deal will not affect fuel supplies on the market.

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Further, Trafigura expects the transaction to improve clarity on the company’s local operations.

The deal now awaits regulatory approval.

Trafigura Pte, which is headquartered in Switzerland, held a minority 49 percent stake in Trafigura Zimbabwe through Puma Energy, while Sakunda Petroleum had the controlling stake of 51 percent, in line with local content laws that applied at the time of the investment.

The Second Republic has since tweaked the local content laws to attract more investors under the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.

Trafigura Zimbabwe was only involved in petroleum supply and distribution, and the joint venture company was renamed from Sakunda Supplies to Trafigura Zimbabwe to differentiate the joint activities of marketing fuel, from those of the wider Sakunda Group of companies. In e-mailed responses, a Trafigura Pte Ltd spokesperson confirmed the transaction.

“In December 2019, Trafigura Pte Ltd signed an agreement to become the 100 percent owner of fuel supply business Trafigura Zimbabwe. This follows the purchase of Sakunda Holding’s 51 percent stake in the company which is currently awaiting final regulatory approval,” said the spokesperson.

“This will bring improved clarity on Trafigura’s activities in the country, an opportunity for more robust financing of Trafigura Zimbabwe and aims to help improve the security of supply of fuel to Zimbabwe. Trafigura Zimbabwe will continue to ensure that petroleum products are made available in line with Zera (the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority)’s regulated price build up and quality standards..”

The Trafigura spokesperson assured interested parties in Zimbabwe that the ownership change will not “cause any interruption to Trafigura’s supply of fuel to Zimbabwe”.

Zera acting chief executive officer Mr Eddington Mazambani could neither confirm nor deny the transaction. “Trafigura is not a licensee so Zera wouldn’t have their shareholding structure. Trafigura or Sakunda are best placed to comment,” he said referring further questions to the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) which handles mergers and demergers to check on potential monopolies that could arise.

CTC director Ms Ellen Ruparanganda asked for written questions and had not responded by the time of going to print. Mr Tagwirei’s mobile phone went unanswered last night and he had not responded to a text message by the time of going to print. Secretary for Energy and Power Development Dr Gloria Magombo said she was not yet aware of the transaction.

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