Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi has warned “unscrupulous” fuel dealers who are in the habit of hoarding fuel and then selling it at inflated prices in foreign currency that they will lose their licenses.
Chasi’s remarks follow reports of fuel service stations in Victoria Falls selling the product in foreign currency at between US$1.50 and US$1.59 per litre for petrol and diesel, respectively.
Speaking at the South Africa-Zambia and Zimbabwe Infrastructure Summit and Expo in the resort town on Friday, Chasi said:
Very soon there will be order in the fuel sector. We can’t have people accessing foreign currency from the Central Bank and then go on to sell fuel anyhow. For those that don’t comply I will simply take their licenses and tear them up because we can’t have our people being punished by unscrupulous dealers.
Government has expressed concern in the past regarding that type of conduct and yesterday the Ministry (Finance) expressed itself in very strong terms in terms of saying to those that are engaging in malpractices that we will de-licence them because we can’t have profiteering people.
Recently the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya said the Central Bank has given the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) approval to register fuel service stations with free funds for direct imports to be sold in foreign currency.
Meanwhile, ZERA has not yet approved any service station to sell fuel in foreign currency but the practice has already become rampant.