Petroda fuel attendants in Chililabombwe are thieves


Dear Editor,

Yesterday, I drove from home to buy some household essentials from Shoprite. At a distance of approximately 2 kiloliters is Petroda filling station, Chililabombwe in Copperbelt where I stopped by to refuel.

A week earlier my wife had told me that the workers at the same gas station had stolen from her, by not putting fuel as per amount she gave them.

Actually, there has been various incidents where after putting fuel for equivalent to a full tank, which initially takes us to Lusaka without adding up anything, we find ourselves refueling on the way.

So yesterday, I planned that I would prove my wife and my instincts right or wrong by observing obscurely, if at all the fuel attendant will put fuel according to the amount given to them.

So we decided to keep the vehicle empty, and we had earlier put petrol for K100 from Total filling station. It is Jeep Cherokee Limited edition 3.7 so the amount K100 does not move the fuel gauge as much. But when another K100 is added, the light that indicates the need for refuel goes off.

I was going to Petroda knowing fully well that if a K100 fuel is added, the light would go off.

I found three fuel attendants. One rushed to get the K100 while the other was just seated and the other one started to put fuel. But I noticed their gimmick.

One who initially got the money begun to destruct me, asking me if the lid for the fuel tank opens with keys to which I responded no. While he was asking, I peeped through the side mirror which I had timed when I was starting off from home, to enable me see the fuel reading.

But as I responded to the question about the rid of the tank, the other guy who was putting fuel started the reading from K60 – this means they put fuel for K40 only. After he was done, I kept my calm and made a slight movement to give way to other motorists for refueling but stopped for about 3 minutes at a distance of 100 meters to observe the gauge.

I kept checking the attitude of the fuel attendants from the side mirror and I noticed that they became uncomfortable, sensing I knew what they did. I assumed. So, I decided to further drive about 2 kilometers to be sure so that I leave room for the fuel gauge to do an accurate reading.

At this point, I was sure that those fuel attendants stole from me, just as they have always done each time I or my wife refuel from Petroda Chililabombwe.

I went back and parked the vehicle and confronted them. First word was “can you be kind enough to tell me what your names are?” They asked why and I said because I want to know you. They refused. I asked for the number of their supervisor and they refused with arrogance.

At this point, I lost my cool. I told them that I know that they stole from me and how they did it. I explained to them how. I was recording the conversation but they didn’t know. I told them I would make the issue simple, by going to the Police station so that, if am accusing them falsely, they should have room to sue me.

At this point they realized I wasn’t joking. One of them begun to talk. He apologized and said “Boss let’s talk, we are humans and youths”. I asked; talk about what when you are refusing that you haven’t stolen? And they kept quiet.

Anyway, the rest is history BUT, if you live in Chililabombwe, be careful as you put fuel from Petroda filling station in this area.

This isn’t the first time we experienced that theft with my wife. This doesn’t mean that all fuel attendants are crooked and it does not mean that Petroda filling station in whole is crooked.

This is to point out that the three attendants I encountered today are crooks. I could have gone as far as reporting them to the Police, considering I recorded them, but I am thinking about their jobs, their families, if they have any. However, overall, be careful as put fuel everywhere.

Jeff Mbewe-Chililabombwe