HARARE: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya on Thursday urged citizens not to panic, saying the country has enough fuel for the festive season.
He told the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy that the central bank had put in place financing facilities worth 197.2 million U.S. dollars for importation of the commodity that is currently in short supply due to ongoing foreign currency shortages.
“We have put in place a number of long-term financing facilities to ensure that Zimbabwe’s supply of fuel is stable and sustainable,” the governor said.
“We are here to assure you that the facilities that we have put in place are continuous and we are going to continue having fuel being delivered to the service stations,” he said.
He said the country’s fuel consumption had drastically increased during the year due to increased number of vehicles in the country, particularly in the capital Harare.
“What we are seeing is that demand for fuel has gone up significantly. The number of vehicles on our roads has increased and we have got vehicles in the range of between 1.6-1.8 million vehicles on our roads, an increase of about 50 percent a year ago,” he said.
He said the increase in the vehicles was being shown by the traffic jams that have become a common feature on the country’s roads, particularly in Harare.
“There are now traffic jams on our roads, wherever you drive. That shows us that the fuel situation is not as bad as it is shown by the queues because if the situation is so acute we would not have such traffic jams at the same time we have fuel queues,” he said.
He said the fuel shortages were a passing phase.
Zimbabwe consumes 4 million litres of diesel and 3 million litres of petrol per day, the governor said, adding the country had imported 1.146 billion dollars worth of fuel since January 2018.