Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is investigating the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s weekly foreign currency allocations to fuel importers.
This follows concerns that foreign companies and some retailers who do not import the commodity are benefitting from the direct fuel import facility.
PAC chairperson Tendai Biti told The Independent this week that they were investigating the fuel allocations. He said:
The key issue is that indigenous fuel importers, minus Zuva, control 45% of the fuel sector, but they are getting less than 2% of the forex allocation. The bulk is shared among Trafigura, Sakunda and Total.
There is also an attempt to delink Trafigura, Puma and Sakunda. Those three entities get disproportionate forex allocations.
Trafigura and Puma are foreign companies, why are they getting these allocations? This is a very incestuous and predatory relationship which is evidence of state capture.
… As PAC, we are looking into this issue because these are public funds being abused. We will definitely get to the bottom of it. We will follow the money.
A player in the fuel sector told the publication that allocation of forex to non-importers such as Petrotrade and NOIC, as well as the double allocation to Puma, raise a lot of questions.
When one looks at these allocation schedules, they are bound to ask: Why is Petrotade getting? It is not a fuel importer. It’s a retailer, but it is being allocated forex for importers. NOIC isn’t an importer as well.
It is simply responsible for the storage infrastructure at Msasa, but it’s getting allocated forex for fuel imports. Puma is getting double allocations.