Govt dis­misses fuel mo­nop­oly claim

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

me give you an ex­am­ple of say To­tal or Puma you will see that they have a lot of ser­vice sta­tions with their em­blem, so the num­ber of ser­vice sta­tions that they are able to sup­ply fuel with trans­lates to the money or for­eign ex­change that they will be given in or­der to feed those ser­vice sta­tions. But if you are a per­son or com­pany that has got only one out­let then you are given what is enough for your out­let. So that is the pol­i­tics that is there. It is not that some­body is be­ing seg­re­gated for any other rea­son.”

Dr Gumbo’s re­marks come as the fuel sit­u­a­tion has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly with Sakunda Hold­ings and its part­ners pro­vid­ing Government with 100 mil­lion litres of fuel, which will only be paid for after 12 months.

Government and Sakunda are also fi­nal­is­ing a deal that will see the lat­ter sup­ply­ing the coun­try with 1,6 bil­lion litres of fuel that would en­sure ad­e­quate fuel sup­plies over the next 18 months.

In­de­pen­dent Petroleum Group (IPG), Glen­core, Engen and To­tal have also chipped in and are work­ing on var­i­ous struc­tures with the Government.

Dr Gumbo dis­missed claims that Sakunda Hold­ings con­trolled the Beira-Feruka oil pipe­line, which was sup­ply­ing most of Zim­babwe’s fuel.

He said Government had no prob­lem with es­tab­lish­ing a sec­ond pipe­line to make Zim­babwe a hub for fuel sup­ply to the region.

“I am aware as the re­spon­si­ble Min­is­ter that the pipe­line from Beira to Feruka has noth­ing to do with Sakunda. It is a pipe­line that is owned by a Joint Ven­ture be­tween the Government of Zim­babwe and Mozam­bique and it ends there,” said Dr Gumbo.

“The ques­tion of the sec­ond pipe­line does not ap­ply to­day. The point about a sec­ond pipe­line will ap­ply in fu­ture and I have a plan for that. I would want to make Zim­babwe a hub for dis­tribut­ing fuel in the region, Botswana, Zam­bia and Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo. How­ever the ex­ist­ing pipe­line is not be­ing used to full ca­pac­ity. There is still un­der­util­i­sa­tion of that pipe­line.”

He re­it­er­ated that the fuel short­age ex­pe­ri­enced re­cently was be­cause of for­eign ex­change short­ages.

“First of all you must know the causes of the fuel short­age. The econ­omy is im­prov­ing, so as it is im­prov­ing it means you must have more fuel in the coun­try,” said Dr Gumbo.

“As the Min­is­ter of En­ergy I have been on record and I know I have been crit­i­cised for say­ing the truth, we have got enough stocks of fuel in the coun­try, that is a fact. What hap­pens, which the pub­lic must know, is that as I stated ear­lier there is dereg­u­la­tion, there are in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies that bring the fuel and it is pumped from Beira to Msasa and Mab­vuku and kept un­der what you call bondage, which means it is stored there like it was in Dubai or Abu Dhabi but you can only ac­cess it after pay­ing for it in for­eign cur­rency,” said Dr Gumbo.

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