New mea­sures to boost fuel avail­abil­ity

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - An­drew Mu­vishi and Prince Mukuna

THE fuel sup­ply sit­u­a­tion is ex­pected to im­prove sig­nif­i­cantly as Govern­ment has in­sti­tuted a raft of mea­sures to ease the plight of con­sumers.

En­ergy and Power De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Dr Jo­ram Gumbo yes­ter­day said the Na­tional Oil In­fra­struc­ture Com­pany (NOIC) was con­tin­u­ously pump­ing fuel into the coun­try 24 hours a day to en­sure avail­abil­ity.

Dis­tri­bu­tion was also be­ing done round the clock.

“The En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (EMA) waived the re­stric­tion on night de­liv­er­ies up to Jan­uary 31, 2019 and the ethanol man­date was re­duced to E10 and cur­rent sup­plies are meet­ing mar­ket de­mand,” said Dr Gumbo.

He said sta­tis­tics on daily fuel up­lifts from NOIC de­pots showed that the mar­ket should be rea­son­ably sup­plied with fuel, which is, how­ever, not the case.

In this re­gard, Dr Gumbo said the Zim­babwe En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (ZERA), with the as­sis­tance of the po­lice, was clamp­ing down on hoard­ing and deal­ers who were break­ing the law.

“There are re­ports from the pub­lic that some ser­vice sta­tions are pre­tend­ing to have stocked-out, with the in­ten­tion of re­serv­ing fuel for par­al­lel mar­ket pur­poses, while oth­ers have taken to over­pric­ing and/or de­mand­ing pay­ment in United States dol­lars only,” he said.

“Zim­babwe En­ergy and Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity, with the as­sis­tance of the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and will de­scend heav­ily on any of­fend­ers.

“It was agreed that should any com­pany or its deal­ers be found to be on the wrong side of the law, then its li­cense will be can­celled.”

Dr Gumbo was speak­ing soon af­ter a meet­ing with the oil in­dus­try dur­ing which he said they had man­aged to clear a lot of grey ar­eas.

These, he said, were the rise in in­ter­na­tional fuel prices which were not matched by for­eign cur­rency al­lo­ca­tions and the re­lease of funds for fuel in the form of Let­ters of Credit which took longer than ex­pected to op­er­a­tionalise, lead­ing to stock outs, panic buy­ing and hoard­ing.

Min­is­ter Gumbo

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