Tanzanian authorities detained executives from three oil-marketing companies on Monday overnight on suspicion that they hoarded supplies to cause a shortage, according to the utilities regulator.
The Tanzania Oil Marketing Association denied the allegations, saying the companies comply with fair competition rules that prohibit cartels, and that the shortage is because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Petroleum imports were cut by half “in two consecutive months as a result of a slowdown in economic activity,” said Raphael Mgaya, the association’s executive director. He confirmed the release of the executives on Tuesday.
Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority on Tuesday increased the price of gasoline for July by 11.4% to 1,693 shillings ($0.73) per liter in the commercial hub, Dar es Salaam.
The Dar es Salaam police chief was not immediately available to comment when contacted on Wednesday.