Fuel hoarding, dollarisation leave Zim grounded

DEALERS are reportedly hoarding fuel for speculative purposes or diverting the commodity to the black market or stations that sell in foreign currency.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) recently permitted fuel retailers to sell in foreign currency.

Zera granted two sites each per petroleum company in Harare and Bulawayo and one each in all the other cities permission to sell their products in forex.

The National Oil Infrastructure Company (NOIC) said they were surprised by the acute shortages of fuel in the country, particularly at a time when it had ramped up supplies of the product.

The fuel situation in the market has remained dire, with increased supplies reportedly leaving no noticeable impact in the market.

Most fuel retailers throughout the country are said to be hoarding fuel with a few that are not experiencing long, winding queues.

Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) head Tabani Mpofu reportedly wrote to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission indicating that from the available evidence, shortages were being caused by corruption perpetrated by fuel suppliers whose motive is to profiteer.

“There has been no evidence of any impact in the market of the significant quantities of fuels that were disbursed to retailers,” he said.

Some fuel retailers authorised to sell in foreign currency are said to be opening opportunities for arbitrage.

Motorists who spoke to Zim Morning Post urged government to address the current fuel shortages which are disrupting business activities as people are spending long hours in queues at service stations.