RBZ releases over US$50 million for fuel – Gumbo

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By Makanaka Masenyama

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has released over US$50 million for fuel procurement, Energy Minister Joram Gumbo has said.

Gumbo told a post-Cabinet media briefing Friday that he was confident the situation will improve within the next few days.

“The RBZ Governor (John Mangudya), before I came into the office this morning,  phoned me and I was very happy that we are working together. He assured me letters of credit worth over US$50 million dollars have been released.

“At least four or five big fuel companies in the country have already started picking up the fuel,” said Gumbo.

The Energy Minister, who has been under pressure to resolve the crisis amid endless fuel queues, revealed that Total Zimbabwe had received US$13 million, Zuva US$12 million and  Engen US$25 million while other smaller players in the sector had also received various amounts.

Gumbo said it was government’s responsibility to ensure fuel was available and to minimise the impact of shortages on business.

With urban commuters in particular struggling with high transport costs, Local Government Minister July Moyo said the arrangement with bus owners to lease their vehicles to State owned Zupco is still in place with fuel supplies guaranteed by the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe.

Fuel shortages have become a constant feature since Zimbabwe’s economy began struggling almost 20 years ago.