Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Ndavaningi (Nick) Mangwana said there are no shortages and the ones being experienced are are artificial shortages being created by panic buying.
Mangwana also said there was no reason for retailers to hike their prices because of a “mere announcement” of a 2% transfer tax. He said people are only queuing at fuel stations because there is fuel and shelves are empty because retailers cannot restock them fast enough. Said Mangwana:
Circulation of fake news on social media that incite people to engage in bulk buying has resulted in some artificial shortages. It is based on profiteering, which is greed. There is also an element that this could be political. Surely, what is the connection between a mere announcement of the 2 percent mobile transfer tax and the hiking of prices from $3 to $11? I urge the people of Zimbabwe to stop panic buying. Remain calm and engage with the Government where necessary. There is enough fuel. There is, at anytime, over 300 million litres of fuel at Msasa depot. The foreign currency that was needed to release the fuel from the Msasa depot where it was bonded, was availed. People are only queuing because there is fuel at the stations. People are surging, going in numbers to fuel up. People are going with their drums to fill up after fake news that there will be a shortage. Such long queues are expected. Right now, when it comes to other supplies, there are good stocks. Obviously things are running off the shelves, but people cannot pack the shelves fast enough. That is where the actual problem is.