Zimbabwe: We Want Dedicated Filling Stations – MPs

Members of Parliament last Thursday demanded dedicated service stations so that they easily access fuel to enhance their mobility as they work for their constituencies.

Manicaland Senator Keresencia Chabuka (MDC-Alliance) said fuel challenges were making it difficult for them to return to their constituencies.

She was speaking during a question and answer session in Senate where she wanted Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa to explain what the Government was doing to ease the fuel situation.

“Today is Thursday (and) tomorrow we are expected to check out (of hotels) and go to our respective constituencies; how do we get there?

“Service stations with fuel are selling in United States dollars, yet we are paid in local currency. Most of the time, we have fuel coupons and most service stations would be selling in hard currency.”

Senate deputy President, Sen Mike Nyambuya, told Deputy Minister Mudyiwa that legislators were going through difficult times to access fuel.

“It will be useful to have a garage or service station where MPs could go and redeem their coupons,” he said.

“I think I will personally take up the issue because I know what MPs are going through.”

In response, Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said it was difficult for her ministry to designate service stations for legislators other than PetroTrade, which the ministry controls.

“Puma and other firms are privately-owned and we have little control over them, yet most of you have coupons for those firms,” she said.

“If you had coupons for PetroTrade, we could assist.”

Deputy Minister Mudyiwa said service stations selling in foreign currency were doing so outside the law, apart from those operating in tourist resorts and selling to diplomats.

She said Treasury and monetary authorities were still working out a plan to have some designated service stations to sell in foreign currency and enable those with free funds to buy fuel.

Meanwhile, responding to a question on working conditions for the police, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister Mike Madiro said the Government was working tirelessly to resource police stations.

He said the ministry had been allocated funds to procure vehicles and other useful materials that the police needed in their work.

Midlands traditional leader, Chief Ntabeni, had complained that some police officers were working while sitting on buckets.

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