Reports of fuel price hike fake – Zera

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By Anna Chibamu

THE Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has dismissed social media reports of a second fuel price increase inside one week.

Social media was awash with claims that Zera would before mid-day Wednesday announce a fresh price increase, the second inside three days.

State broadcaster the ZBC said the energy regulator had dismissed the claims.

“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has dismissed social media reports that fuel prices will go up effective midnight saying the authority will not adjust the commodity’s prices twice within a week,” State media reported.

In what appeared to have been a statement from Zera fuel prices would go up probably in line with currency exchange rates.

“Please be advised that the fuel prices effective midnight (Tuesday, July 23) as follows: petrol $9.47, diesel $9.19,” the short statement said.

Early this week prices petrol went up from $6.10 from $7.47 while diesel moved from $5.84 to $7.19.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube recently indicated that he would be happy with fuel prices that are equivalent to US$1 at the interbank rate.

Currently the interbank rate is hovering around US$1: $9 while the parallel market rate is slightly more but still under $10 for US$1.

After the violence triggered by a 150% fuel price increase in January, authorities have moved to a more measured approach to effecting changes.

Zimbabwe is struggling with fuel supplies and despite the increases shortages remain with queues now a permanent feature.