Photograph — Automart

The government of Zimbabwe has liberalised the importation of fuel by granting big companies approval to import fuel for their own consumption. This is aimed at addressing the current fuel shortage crisis in the country.

“Cabinet has given a green light to large companies such as those in the mining sector to use their funds to import fuel for their use,” Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa confirmed the development after a meeting yesterday.

This comes as cabinet also resolved that the ongoing partial privatisation of Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), which is in sync with public enterprise reforms espoused in Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), be expedited to boost recapitalisation of the company.

Mutsvangwa further revealed that cabinet received the weekly supply situation report from the Minister of Energy and Power Development and in order to augment the short supply of fuel during the course of the week, eight million litres of diesel were released into the market.

“Following the release of funding by the RBZ (Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe), the fuel supply situation is now expected to stabilise as the week progresses,” she said.

According to Energy and Power Development Minister, Joram Gumbo, the government has given the green light to mining companies and those in the farming sector to import fuel using their own funds but individuals will not be allowed to import fuel on their own.

“At the moment no individual is allowed to do that,” he said, adding that the president allowed the use of strategic reserves to bring in diesel to mitigate the incident of diesel shortage that occurred last week.

In 2015, members of the public were allowed to import up to 2000 litres of fuel per month for personal use after Statutory Instrument (SI) was amended. However, the legal instrument was repealed two years later through SI 122, which stated that only companies licensed under the Petroleum Act were allowed to import fuel.

Presently, the market is plagued by intermittent stock-outs, which are negatively affecting individual consumers and businesses. “We hope that come end of week, things will have stabilised for both products,” Gumbo added.

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