By Anna Chibamu
THE current fuel crisis in the country has been fuelled by Treasury’s failure to pay for delivered but bonded supplies in Msasa, Harare, Energy Deputy Minister Magna Mudyiwa has told Senate.
She said only a few independent fuel importing companies were supplying the commodity in the country hence the long queues being experienced everyday.
“As a ministry, we only work with PetroTrade, which we can give directives and all other garages like PUMA, Engen and Zuva are independent suppliers so we cannot do anything. Can we as ministry and Parliament meet and discuss the issue so we can help each other?” she said.
She said fuel was bonded in Msasa, but the government had no funds to pay for it.
“Fuel is available in the country but for us to access the commodity, payment is needed. It is not the Energy ministry alone that deals with fuel purchasing but we have the Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe) and Finance ministry whom we work with.
“Our role is to see whether fuel has reached garages. It is true; there is no fuel right now available in service stations,” she said.
The Deputy Minister said her ministry was not aware that service stations with fuel stocks were demanding payment in foreign currency.
“We are not aware that all service stations are selling fuel in foreign currency. But there are a few stations that were selected to sell fuel in foreign currency for envoys, NGOs and State guests, but there are plans by government to allow those garages or fuel traders who can buy fuel from outside to bring in the fuel.
“Those garages selling fuel without permission from the ministry are breaking the law,” Mudyiwa told Senate.
Meanwhile, Mudyiwa’s announcement on lack of fuel in the country, angered senators who went on to plead with the Senate deputy president Mike Nyambuya to arrange their travel to their constituencies.
“What are we supposed to do? There is no fuel for us to go back to our constituencies. Really, we are stranded because of this crisis,” said MDC Senator Keresencia Chabuka shouted.