In an interview with The Chronicle, Energy and Power Development Minister, Joram Gumbo has warned fuel traders and filling stations withholding fuel and those supplying the black market that they risk losing their trading licences.
Gumbo said Police and Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) have since been deployed and are making random raids at service stations. He said police officers and ZERA officials have been deployed all over the country. Gumbo said Government has discovered that some service stations are withholding fuel to supply the black market and pirate taxis. Said Gumbo:
We are suspecting that some of the fuel shortages might be political. What we have noticed is that pirate taxis and public transport operators are also hoarding and stocking fuel. The spiking demand could have been triggered by the festive season and holiday makers travel. There is adequate fuel in the country this festive season. For instance cities like Harare and Gweru, there are short queues which show there is enough fuel. As Government we are monitoring the situation after receiving reports that there are fuel traders and service stations that are withholding fuel. I would want to warn them that they risk losing their trading licences. We have deployed police and ZERA to go around conducting intermittent raids on service stations and fuel traders. Those that are found stocking a lot of fuel will have their licences withdrawn. We have deployed some in Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Mutare, Masvingo, Harare and other cities and small towns. We are not joking and there won’t be any sacred cows.