By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE’s persistent fuel shortages that seem to have worsened in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, will ease by this weekend, government said late Thursday.
In a short statement the Ministry of Information said pressure on fuel suppliers will drop following the completion of repairs to the pipeline that brings the critical liquid into the country from neighbouring Mozambique.
“Companhiado De Pipeline Mozambique Zimbabwe staff have been working tirelessly to get things back on track. Pumping from Beira resumed last night and the jetty started receiving vessels today,” the ministry said.
Snaking fuel queues had re-emerged after the tropical cyclone two weeks ago that ripped through Manicaland and left the Mozambique port of Beira in ruins. The cyclone left over 200 people dead in Chimanimani and Chipinge, nearly a thousand in Mozambique and devastated infrastructure that government says will require tens of millions to repair.
In the aftermath of the hostile weather phenomenon, fuel supplier, Total Zimbabwe issued a warning, indicating supplies were going to be affected owing to the Cyclone Idai-induced damages.
“Following the devastating effect of Cyclone Idai experienced in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the fuel supply chain logistics into Zimbabwe have been negatively affected.
The jetty in Beira has been damaged and can’t receive vessels to discharge, pumping house roof has been blown away, the electrical board was affected and the status is not yet known,” Total said last Thursday.
However Total was forced to retract the statement probably under pressure from authorities who felt the “facts” could cause “panic and alarm among citizens.”
The road connecting Zimbabwe’s eastern border city of Mutare and Beira was also extensively damaged with haulage trucks reportedly stuck on the neighbouring country’s side.
Foreign currency shortages and general economic decline has played havoc with Zimbabwe’s fuel supplies with citizens and business spending more production time in queues than working.