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Zimbabwe fuel crisis could get worse, warns Mnangagwa ally

by ZimLive
07 May 2019 at 06:12hrs | Views
Long fuel queues formed around Zimbabwe on Monday, on the same day that the Energy Minister Joram Gumbo warned it might get worse.

Zimbabwe's problem is simple: Trafigura and Glencore have millions of fuel litres delivered by pipeline to Harare, but the country does not have the foreign currency required by fuel companies to pay for the product.

Gumbo says the fuel queues would disappear if the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were to make timeous payments for the fuel.

"I only provide fuel and it is in the country; the one who buys the fuel is Reserve Bank governor John Mangudya," Gumbo told The Daily News.

"The fuel is there but if there's no foreign currency to access it, then the international suppliers will not give us the fuel; it is that simple.

"The problem is with foreign currency allocation and unless the situation improves then the queues will continue to increase.

"I may only come in when the situation demands and ask the president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) to release fuel from the strategic reserves."

He said during the Easter holiday and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in late April, he secured authorisation to tap into fuel reserves.

"I had to do so because many people were travelling and the situation improved, but it seems the RBZ relaxes once we do that," Gumbo said.

The RBZ, which has a committee in charge of allocating scarce foreign currency to importers, daily juggles requests for foreign currency from bakers, millers and fuel companies among others – but there just isn't enough to go round.

Fuel shortages are one of the many symptoms of a failing economy. The crisis, also manifesting through runaway inflation and stagnant wages, has fuelled growing resentment against President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government.

Source - ZimLive