Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government is making efforts to speed up the issuance of Letters of Credit to suppliers to access more fuel and eliminate shortages, particularly during the festive season.
Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa said discussions between her ministry, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and fuel suppliers, were on course to ensure the bonded fuel in the country be accessed.
Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said this yesterday during a Question and Answer session in the National Assembly.
Zaka West MP Cde Ophias Murambiwa (Zanu-PF) had asked what measures Government was putting in place to ensure availability of fuel during the festive season.
“The fact is that we do have enough fuel at our depots in Mabvuku and Msasa. This means that we need to pay before we can withdraw that fuel. We are discussing with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe who issue Letters of Credit to fuel traders so that they access the fuel. I can assure the nation that we do have enough fuel at our depots save for the Letters of Credit.
“If the process is expedited, then the fuel can be available. We are doing everything within our means to make sure that we have enough fuel for our motorists during the holiday.”
It could not be established how long it would take for fuel dealers to start delivering fuel to service stations after getting Letters of Credit as Reserve Bank officials were not reachable last night.
Motorists have of late been enduring long hours in queues owing to unavailability of fuel, a situation that threatens to disrupt holiday plans.
Most service stations around the country have not consistently had supplies with chaotic scenes characterising the few with fuel.
Rampant corruption by fuel attendants has worsened the situation as they demand bribes.
On Tuesday, Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi updated Cabinet on the fuel supply situation.
Cabinet assured the nation that necessary steps were being taken to ensure the fuel situation was normalised during the festive season and beyond.
“Indigenous oil companies will be issued with Letters of Credit to enable them to complement Government in satisfying the market,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa while briefing journalists after the Cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza said most local authorities were failing to access funds for road projects from the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) because of failure to acquit previous disbursements.
He said this while responding to a question from Zvimba South MP Cde Phillip Chiyangwa (Zanu-PF) who complained that most local authorities had this year not received money from Zinara towards road construction and maintenance.
“Zinara has been restructured and we have managed to make sure that the acting positions have been filled up. We have managed to turn the organisational culture at Zinara to a professional one.
“What is left now is to appoint the finance director and the chief executive whose interviews are finishing today (yesterday).
“We have several local authorities who have not acquitted because most of them have abused the funds.
“They have bought cars for themselves and are unable to acquit and that is where the problem is. If the responsible councillors or Members of Parliament in their areas ask this question of acquittal they will find where the problem is,” said Minister Matiza.