The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Joram Gumbo, revealed that the erratic fuel supplies are a result of a shortage of foreign currency to pay the international suppliers.
In an interview with the Daily News, Gumbo said that the buck stops with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) which allocates foreign currency. Said Gumbo:
I only provide fuel and it is in the country; the one who buys the fuel is Reserve Bank (of Zimbabwe) governor John Mangudya.
The fuel is there but if there is no foreign currency to access it then the international suppliers will not give us the fuel; it is that simple.
The problem is with foreign currency allocation and unless the situation improves then the queues will continue to increase.
I may only come in when the situation demands and ask the president (Emmerson Mnangagwa) to release fuel from the strategic reserves.
During the Easter holiday and also during the (Zimbabwe International) Trade Fair I asked the president to give me the green light to access the reserved fuel; I had to do so because many people were travelling and the situation was better but it seems the RBZ relaxes once we do that.
Presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, told the Daily News that there is adequate fuel in the country;
There is fuel in the country, (it is just that) we can’t afford it. Fuel suppliers in the country, such as Trafigura and Glencore have fuel stocks running into millions but those millions have to be paid for in terms of foreign currency.
More: Daily News