The standoff between the government and fuel dealers has been resolved after the former clarified on the issue of duty applicable.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) acting chief executive officer, Eddington Mazambani said that reports that the standoff was to do with transport were a social media creation. He said:
What that did is when fuel is procured in the country, the fuel companies will have FOB prices which will in turn affect the CIF (cost, insurance and freight) which is used for duty purposes.
But ZERA set a maximum price using a certain CIF cost which then differed from trader to trader which made it difficult for traders to continue to make fuel available when their prices are different from what ZERA would have set.
We then agreed with the Ministry of Finance together with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority that the duty set by Zera at the beginning of the week becomes the absolute amount for the whole week until Sunday because our pricing regime is Monday to Sunday.
That agreement was only implemented yesterday (Wednesday). We engaged from Monday and agreed late on Tuesday but it was then implemented Wednesday.
So from yesterday, we managed to see an increased level of pick up from National Oil Infrastructure Company because it was now clear what duty was being charged by Zimra.
So it has since been addressed, the issue about transport was coming from social media, the real issue was on duty, so every Friday we agree on the applicable duty for the following week and that is communicated to NOIC.
We expect the situation to improve. I am not saying there will be no queues but we will revert back to our usual situation where we will have constrained supply but at least it will be available.
Mazambani clarified on the issue of duty applicable. He said that the prevailing amount of duty payable on petrol was $2,73 from $1,10 while diesel was pegged at $2,48 from 90 cent.
More: The Herald