Desmond Munemo, H-Metro Reporter
The Ministry of Energy and Power Development has issued a statement over the prevailing transport woes attributed to shortage of fuel in the country.
In an exclusive Communiqué to H-Metro, the Ministry clarified the state of affairs pertaining to fuel shortages which have resulted in transport challenges affecting the commuting public.
“The supply of fuel in the market is currently constrained due to foreign currency allocations emanating from various urgent competing priorities especially food security and drugs.
“The importation of and other essential commodities means there is increased demand of foreign currency hence the need to priorities the monetary authorities,” reads part of the statement.
The ministry further urged consumers to use fuel efficiently and desist from hoarding as efforts are being taken to inject more fuel into the market to avoid artificial increased demand in a constrained environment.
“Remedial action is being taken, we will soon be seeing more products going into the market in a week or so.
“The Ministry of Finance and the RBZ Governor are working tirelessly to ensure the situation is normalized and various letters of credit (LCs) and cash cover are being processed to release more product into the market.
“Strategically, Government has encouraged international fuel suppliers to utilize the in-country storage capacity by ensuring that the product not paid for is kept in tank as bonded stocks.
“That means this fuel does not pay duty until such time that supplier is paid and the fuel is now being taken onto the market.
“This encourages such companies to keep fuel inland instead of out at sea used to be the case.
“With product already inland, it can be accessed for distribution immediately once it is paid for.
“The country currently has sufficient stocks in bond to meet demand.
“Government has also approved Direct Fuel Imports (DFIs) by allowing large exporting companies to bring fuel suing their own foreign currency and Zera and RBZ are working on a regulatory framework for DFI service stations to cater for guests of the state,” reads part of the statement.
The Ministry ruled out the speculation that fuel challenges are attributed to last year festive season which saw the commodity supplied in abundance.
“This is not true, speculation is definitely not founded.
“Ideally fuel should be readily available all the time.
“This ultimately reduces demand as it eradicates the incentive to buy more than necessary and hoarding.
“We continue to urge fuel consumers to use fuel efficiently, share transport whilst government avails more public transport through capacitating ZUPCO.
“We will endeavor to keep the market wet,” concluded the statement.