The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Joram Gumbo said that the price of fuel, for example, petrol which costs#1,38/litre in Zimbabwe, is the lowest in the SADC region.
However, a South African publication says otherwise. Wheels24, a section of News24 says that the Zimbabwean petrol price is the highest in the region, with the exception of Zambia.
The survey by the online news publication reveals that the price of fuel in oil-producing Angola, where motorists pay $0,52/litre, is the lowest in the region.
Elsewhere in the SADC region, motorists are paying $0,87 in Botswana and Lesotho; $0,92 in Swaziland and $0,93 in Namibia.
Of all the countries surveyed, Zimbabwe, at $1,38/litre, has the highest petrol price followed by Mozambique where motorists pay $1,12/litre.
The third highest petrol price is in South Africa where the inland price is $1,04/litre while the coast price is a dollar.
Shortages have persisted even though the fuel price is prohibitively high. Gumbo revealed that his Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to increase its foreign currency allocation for fuel. Said Gumbo:
We have enough fuel stocks in the country but sometimes we do not have forex to pay for the fuel. We strike deals with oil companies to deliver a lot of fuel in the country in advance.
However, we can only access that fuel after paying for it and our forex shortages sometimes hinder us from getting your preferred supplier. We cannot say there is no fuel because there’s no forex. The fuel is there but the suppliers want forex up front.
Our allocation is around $20 million per week for fuel so we receive it from the Reserve Bank. So if we are not allocated that forex, we may delay in accessing fuel.
We made a proposal to the Reserve Bank to increase our weekly forex allocation from $20 million to $35 million per week.