In an interview with The Standard, Energy Minister Joram Gumbo explained why fuel queues have resurfaced in urban areas.
Gumbo claimed fuel companies were concentrating on supplying outlying areas resulting in a shortage of the commodity in urban areas. The availability of fuel had improved significantly after the government increased prices by 150%, but long queues at service stations started forming on Friday. Gumbo also blamed the shortages on alleged panic buying following rumours government wanted to increase the price of petrol from $3,32 a litre to $5. Said Gumbo:
When the country was shut down last month, some oil companies who obtain fuel from Mabvuku and Masasa were not collecting fuel because they feared for the safety of their trucks, as a result there were no deliveries. So when they started deliveries they concentrated on towns, hence the situation had improved in the cities. But in all the other outskirts there was nothing and this is why I was expecting that by the end of this week those places that had no deliveries would also have received some fuel. I have been receiving messages that the fuel price is going up to $5 and the motoring public is again in panic mode. I do not know why some sections of the media are doing that. This is why at one point the internet was shut down, but let me beg the authorities not to shut it down because it disturbs me a lot in my operations. The fuel price is not going to be increased to $5.