Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
Government has instituted random checks on fuel stations across the country as it moves to curb hoarding.
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo said in an interview that the police and Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) officials had been deployed across the country and fuel traders and stations found withholding fuel or selling it on the black market risked losing their trading licences.
Dr Gumbo said Government had learnt that some service stations were withholding fuel and selling it on the black market and to pirate taxis.
“We are suspecting that some of the fuel shortages might be political. What we have noticed is that pirate taxis and public transport operators are also hoarding and stocking fuel. The spike in demand could have also been triggered by the festive season,” he said.
“As Government we are monitoring the situation closely.
“We have deployed police and ZERA to go around conducting intermittent raids on fuel stations and fuel traders. Those that are found stocking a lot of fuel will have their licences withdrawn. We have deployed some in Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Harare and other cities and small towns. We are not joking and there won’t be any sacred cows.”
The checks come after an incident in Gweru last week where motorists besieged ZUVA filling station along Lobengula Avenue after getting a tip off that a fuel tanker had offloaded but the owner, Mr Bourbon Bhula, was allegedly refusing to sell the fuel.
Police had to come to his rescue. Mr Bhula refused to talk to the Press.
Source : The Herald