Leonard Ncube Victoria Falls Reporter
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya has assured the nation that there is no fuel crisis, as the central bank allocated enough foreign currency to suppliers.
Dr Mangudya, who is in China on State business, told Chronicle in an interview that queues that characterised filling stations in most parts of the country yesterday could have been a result of logistical challenges.
“There cannot be a crisis because we allocated enough fuel for the week,” he said.
“Since I am not around, I can only assume that suppliers may have had logistical challenges collecting fuel from Msasa Depot (in Harare) for them to distribute countrywide.”
Dr Mangudya promised to check on the situation.
He said RBZ allocates $20 million foreign currency for fuel per week on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Government doubled foreign currency allocation to fuel suppliers from $10 million to $20 million per week in May this year, to ensure constant supplies.
However, yesterday morning motorists in some parts of the country woke up to long winding queues at fuel garages, while some outlets had no supplies at all.
A survey by our Bulawayo Bureau showed that only diesel was available at some outlets, while unscrupulous black market dealers had hiked prices, taking advantage of shortages at the pump.
In Binga, diesel was delivered to some garages on Sunday, while fuel attendants said they were expecting petrol on Thursday.
In Victoria Falls, motorists were caught unawares and queued at CMED garage in the morning as other outlets were yet to receive supplies.
Total garage was only selling to those with their pre-paid cards and cash, resulting in motorists flocking to the CMED garage.
At Petrotrade, motorists were being told to check by end of day yesterday.
Parallel market dealers who sell fuel in containers at street corners were selling 5-litres for as high as $10, about $3 more than the pump price.
“I’m left with less than a quarter tank of fuel and I can’t continue carrying clients,” said a taxi driver Mr Oliver Mungezi in Victoria Falls.
“I will have to join the queue until I get some fuel because I might get stuck with clients. What it means is that we have lost business this morning.”
In Hwange, some of the garages were also without fuel, while in Bulawayo long queues were also witnessed in the morning.