11 February 2019

Zimbabwe: ZERA Rules Out Fuel Price Hike

Photo: Idah Mhetu/New Zimbabwe
Motorists queue for fuel at a filling station in Harare.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has said the country has enough fuel stocks for the market and Government will not increase prices in the near future.

As such, there is no need for the market to panic.

The assurance comes in the wake rumours that another fuel price hike was looming, triggering panic buying, especially in Harare, resulting in limited supplies and queues emerging.

ZERA acting chief executive Mr Eddingtom Mazambani said the shortages that were experienced last week were a result of supply gaps.

"The fuel supply in the country is stable and the public should not panic based on false statements that the fuel prices are due to be significantly reviewed," he said.

"Government has put in place enough financial facilities to ensure that there will be enough fuel stocks to cater for current demand.

"There is no need for panic buying. The country has adequate stocks. ZERA is constantly monitoring the supply and consumption patterns while the financial side is being resolved by the central bank."

Last month, Government reviewed the price of diesel to $3,11 from $1,30 per litre, while petrol was increased to $3,31 from $1,40 per litre.

The Government introduced a tax rebate for all registered businesses in the manufacturing, mining, commerce, agriculture and transport sectors to prevent commodity or service price increases.

Market watchers say the fuel price increase was long overdue and therefore inevitable.

They say it was necessary to tackle long queues at fuel service stations, as well as address hoarding that had become rampant.

Following the fuel price increase Government said no commodity price adjustments upwards were expected.

Government is working on a framework that ensures that companies that are tax compliant enjoy a rebate system that will enable them to get fuel at lower rates.

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