Relief for motorists as fuel supply situation improves over Christmas

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Costa Nkomo

THE country’s fuel supply situation remained steady during the Christmas holiday with motorists feeling relieved they did not go through the burdensome routine of hunting for the precious liquid to travel.

A snap survey by in service stations within Harare’s CBD and outside Wednesday and Thursday showed some remarkable improvement in the state of affairs with the long winding queues normally witnessed having disappeared.

A number of motorists expressed relief after the notable improvement.

“Although we are facing other challenges on a day to day basis, the past two days have been so refreshing. I wish it stays like this because chasing fuel every day is something really difficult,” said one commuter transport driver who identified himself as Norman Chipiri.

One vegetable dealer, Enock Mabhena echoed the same sentiments, saying had fuel supplies been maintained in that state, his business was going to improve.

“Fuel has been problematic for almost the whole of this year. I buy vegetables from Mutoko and resell in Mbare (market in Harare). I used to make lots of cash before the fuel crisis. Now I have reduced my trips to two or three trips a week.

“On good days, I go there almost every day except on Sundays. So, you can imagine how my earnings have been cut. It means I am now getting half because of the poor fuel supply situation,” he said.

Some of those who spoke to this publication felt fuel price increases that have been undertaken by government in the recent past should ensure reliability in the supply of the scarce petroleum product.

“Things are not well in the country at the moment and the majority of people are running their own businesses. If you spend several hours in a fuel queue, that means money has been lost.

“You cannot open your business while knowing that at the end of the day, you have no fuel to drive home,” said one cell phone business owner in the CBD.

Zimbabwe has been battling erratic fuel shortages since October 2018 and a year later, the precious liquid remains scarce.

A couple of weeks ago, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told journalists at a post-cabinet media briefing in Harare that fuel supply was going to improve for ease of travel during the festive period.