Friday, 19 October 2018

FUEL STATIONS HOARDING FUEL : ZERA


SOME fuel stations are deliberately hoarding and limiting supplies to consumers for speculative purposes thereby creating artificial shortages that have resulted in continued long queues for petrol and diesel.

Yesterday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said limiting supplies to consumers was illegal and culprits will be prosecuted and their licences revoked.

Zera’s statement buttresses Government’s position that there is enough fuel in the country despite long queues at fuel stations in the past two weeks.

“It has come to the attention of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority that some petroleum licensees are deliberately hoarding or limiting fuel supplies to consumers for speculative purposes. 

Isolated cases of service stations charging fuel prices that are above regulated threshold have also come to Zera’s attention,” reads the statement.

“Such actions are in violation of the Petroleum (Fuel Pricing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (No.1) published in the Statutory Instrument 20 of 2015 which prohibits the withholding of petroleum products for speculative purposes and charging fuel prices that are beyond the prescribed limits.”

The regulatory authority warned that those breaking the law risk being prosecuted and having their licences revoked. Zera said its compliance officers have been deployed to the ground to monitor the situation. 

“Members of the public are advised to report all fuel retailers who are suspected of deliberately withholding or limiting fuel supplies for speculative purposes.

“The public is also advised to report retailers who are charging fuel prices that are above the approved threshold to Zera,” reads the statement.

It said members of the public can report unscrupulous fuel service stations on landline numbers +263 242 780 010; +263 242 253416 or on 0800136 which is used as both a toll free and WhatsApp number.

People can also report at Zera’s offices situated at 24 Samora Machel Avenue, 14th Floor, Century Towers in Harare or send an email on @[email protected] or make a report through its website www.zera.co.zw.

Zera also warned the public against hoarding fuel saying this could result in destructive and fatal fires.

“The use of containers increases chances of fuel contamination which compromises fuel quality and results in damage to motor engines,” Zera said. 

Meanwhile, in Tsholotsho, two service stations are allegedly demanding United States dollars and South African rands from motorists, claiming to be importing fuel from the neighbouring Botswana.

Tsholotsho Business Against Crime Forum of Zimbabwe (BACFOZ) chairperson, Mr Ernest Maliwa said the only fuel station that has not been demanding forex had run out of the commodity leaving them at the mercy of unscrupulous dealers.

He said motorists have been left to resort to two fuel stations located at Tsholotsho Business Centre, Phumelela Service Station and Majokotshoko Service Station that are demanding forex payments.

The proprietors of the two service stations could not be reached immediately.

However, Mr Maliwa said: “One of them is charging R17,50 or US$ 1,25 per litre for both petrol and diesel. This one has totally refused to accept any other form of payment for his fuel even after our team approached him. The other one is charging R14 or US$ 1.10 per litre of petrol and R13 or $1.02 per litre of diesel. After approaching this one, he now charges $2 per litre, both petrol and diesel with customers limited to only $10 bond purchase and nothing more.”

He said motorists are forced to look for bond notes and trade them for rands on the black market.

Tsholotsho Rural District Council chairperson, Ward 9 councillor, Esau Siwela said residents were also failing to buy basic commodities as shops were also demanding forex. Herald

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