EDITORIAL COMMENT:Unscrupulous fuel dealers should be punished

20 Oct, 2018 - 00:10 0 Views
EDITORIAL COMMENT:Unscrupulous fuel dealers should be punished Dr Jorum Gumbo

The Chronicle

Government has assured motorists that there is adequate fuel in the country and that measures have been put in place to ensure the country does not run out of the precious liquid.

Energy and Power Development Minister, Dr Joram Gumbo, has said there is enough fuel to meet the country’s daily consumption at Msasa and Mabvuku depots in Harare while pumping of fuel through the Feruka Pipeline is ongoing.

What is, however, disappointing is that even after this assurance, the country is still witnessing panic buying hence the long and winding queues of cars at filling stations every day in most urban areas.

Some filling stations that are deliberately hoarding and limiting supplies to consumers have worsened the situation.

According to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) some filling stations are hoarding or limiting fuel supplies for speculative purposes.

It said isolated cases of service stations charging fuel prices that are above regulated threshold have also come to its attention.

Zera warned such unscrupulous dealers that they risked being prosecuted and their licences revoked.

The regulatory body said it has since deployed its compliance officers on the ground to monitor the situation and we hope the culprits will soon be exposed and punished.

Members of the public have also been asked to assist in exposing these unscrupulous dealers that are creating artificial shortages in order to fleece motorists by charging exorbitant prices or demanding payment in foreign currency as what is happening at Tsholotsho Business Centre in Matabeleland North province.

The country consumes 2,5 million litres of diesel and 1,5 million litres of petrol a day and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is allocating adequate foreign currency every week for fuel imports.

We want to once again appeal to motorist to only buy what they require per given period as opposed to hoarding fuel.

Zera has warned that hoarding fuel could result in destructive and fatal fires.

Workers are spending productive hours in fuel queues because of the unnecessary panic buying which could be avoided if dealers stop limiting supplies and motorists stop hoarding.

Fuel is being delivered to service stations daily in the different cities and towns but what is mind boggling is that queues are not disappearing.

There is therefore a need to get to the bottom of the problem and we want to commend Zera for deploying officers on the ground.

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