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Fuel prices up again

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE/ NHAU MANGIRAZI

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has announced another fuel price hike for the third time in two weeks with diesel and petrol going up by 21 cents and 8 cents per litre, respectively, pilling more misery on citizens.

Speaking to NewsDay yesterday, Zera acting chief executive officer Edington Mazambani said: “This increase was caused by a marginal upward movement in duty which was affected by the increase in the exchange rate from $9,094 to $9,792 this week.”

Diesel now sells at $9,27/l up from $9,06, while petrol is now priced at $9,09 from $9,01.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said the fuel price hike would trigger another price increases for goods and services.

“The expectation is that the price of fuel will keep chasing the forex interbank market rate primarily before other costs considerations and business and the
motoring public should plan accordingly. The only challenge is to expect prices of other goods and services to remain constant, it’s an anomaly. Whichever
school of thought one applies, a major constant has been incomes both for the civil service and private sector who, in the majority of cases seem to easily lag
behind when it comes to wages and salaries adjustments,” Mutashu said.

Despite the increase, the commodity is still in short supply with motorists spending hours queuing at fuel stations.

The demand for fuel has also gone up as businesses have resorted to using generators to power equipment due to prolonged power cuts being experienced in the
country.

Meanwhile, headmasters from Hurungwe’s outlying schools are bemoaning high transport costs to Magunje education offices.

The educators revealed that headmasters are forking out at least $120 for a trip to and from Magunje due to fuel price hikes.

The worst affected headmasters are from Hurungwe North under Chiefs Chundu and Kazangarare as well as Hurungwe East under Chief Mjinga.

One headmaster who spoke on condition that he is not named said: “The fuel cost is draining us financially as we have to submit monthly reports and attend regular meetings as demanded by the district or provincial office. The relocation of Karoi sub-offices has had negative impact on us.”

Some district officials have not been spared by the biting economy either. They called on their parent ministry to consider relocating the sub-office from
Magunje to Karoi which is central and a bit more convenient.

Provincial education director Gilbert Mhumha admitted that fuel price hikes were negatively impacting on the quality of education in Hurungwe.

“I will definitely place the matter for discussion at the next senior provincial management meeting where we will have all the seven district supervisors and
inspectors, given the increased transport costs.”

Source : NewsDay

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