ZIMBABWE has enough fuel in stock and there is no need to panic over false social media reports suggesting a crisis, Government has said. Energy and Power Development Secretary Mr Partson Mbiriri disputed the fuel shortage claims as unfortunate.“There is an unfortunate message doing the rounds on social media. The message is claiming that fuel will run out this week or early next week. Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “As we have indicated before, the country has fuel stocks to last us well into next year.”
Mr Mbiriri said the stocks were already in the country and there was no need to panic.
“The stocks are at National Oil and Infrastructure Company storage tanks and depots. The critical fact to appreciate is that the bulk of these stocks are in bond. Once such fuel is paid for, it is released onto the market forthwith,” he said.
Mr Mbiriri said the liberalisation of the fuel sector enabled fuel imports to be done on a regular basis. He said such an arrangement averts risk of fuel shortage. He said last month alone Zimbabwe imported 134 742 963 litres of fuel and imports of the product continue.
Mr Mbiriri said Government had also ensured the availability of ethanol this year.
“Turning to ethanol, it will be recalled that we have had challenges in the past in the form of product availability as the rains have set in. Once the black cotton soils in Chisumbanje got sogging wet, it became impossible to continue harvesting sugarcane in the fields. We are better prepared this year such that the product should be available throughout the rainy season,” he said.
Mr Mbiriri said Noic had plans to develop additional storage capacity for ethanol in order to enhance security of supply.
“We wish to assure the nation that there is no basis for alleging that the country will go dry in terms of fuel supply. We have adequate fuel stocks in the country. The short term challenge is in accessing the bonded fuel in terms of forex,” he explained. Herald