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Fuel price in Zimbabwe grossly inflated, says opposition MDC-T
27/01/2016 00:00:00
by Anna Chibamu

ZIMBABWEANS are spending millions of dollars per year in purchasing fuel at alarming prices yet global oil prices continue to fall, the opposition MDC-T party has said.

The party accused he country’s Energy and Power Development Ministry of “incompetence, mismanagement and corruption” adding the price problem was worsened by “unscrupulous traders … with dubious reputations who have taken control of the industry”.

“The fall in prices in the Southern African regional market has been more or less in line with global trends but, this is not the case in Zimbabwe where unscrupulous traders and a corrupt ministry have increased their profitability at the expense of the consumer,” the party said in a statement this week.

Currently, local fuel prices average about $1.20 a litre, down just 14 per cent, while in South Africa prices are hovering around R10 ($0.60) per litre, a market decline of nearly 40 per cent despite a 30 per cent devaluation in the Rand.

A year ago crude oil was over $115 a barrel, but a few days ago the price fell to below $28, a decline of about 75 per cent.

“Consumers looking around them will have noted the many millions of dollars being spent on refurbishing old filing stations, new pumps, new signage, forecourts, gardens and more which are all signs that the stark decline in the domestic economy has not affected retail distributors of fuel products,” the MDC-T said.

The party said during while it had charge of the energy ministry during the coalition government, not only was the petroleum industry completely reorganized but the Ministry insisted on competition between bulk fuel suppliers, the wholesale and retail industry in Zimbabwe.

The result was that liquid fuels were brought into free supply at market prices and the benefits to the consumers were immediate.

“A 60 per cent reduction in the pump price would put $840 million dollars back into their pockets,” added the MDC-T.

The party expressed concern over “a handful of companies milking the local fuel market and consumers of this sort of money” saying it’s a disgrace.

It said the energy minister Samuel Undenge should immediately give a “clear and honest explanation” as to why prices in Zimbabwe remain high and what he is doing about the issue.


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