Fuel queues that had become an eyesore towards the end of 2018 have slowly disappeared. The development is a result of a rise in fuel prices announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on January 12.
Prices of fuel were hiked by over 150%, making Zimbabwe’s fuel the most expensive in the world. The knock-on effect of the hike has been low consumption of fuel as well as destroying the fuel black market.
Speaking to the Daily News, Energy and Power Development minister Joram Gumbo said:
We …, expect things to normalise as at the moment things are going well and we hope things will continue that way, as long as people continue buying and using fuel they need and avoid hoarding.
… Now that the government got rid of the black market by controlling fuel prices, people are now not able to hoard fuel and the demand in the black market has also crumbled.
We are happy about the improvement and we hope it continues to be like that.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya had this to say:
It shows that the price elasticity of demand for fuel is relatively elastic. It conforms to the law of demand. The existing financial facilities that we have put in place are sufficient to cater to the country’s fuel requirements that currently stand at around $80 million under normal conditions.
The fuel price hike caused rioting across the country as citizens came face to face with the grim reality of a sharp rise in the cost of leaving.