Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
ZANU-PF youths in Matabeleland North besieged West Garage in Lupane on Monday complaining about attendants at the facility who were reportedly selling fuel in foreign currency only .
Members of the public and motorists approached the Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial youth leadership to complain as fuel attendants were demanding United States dollars and South African rand for fuel.
The party’s provincial youth chair Cde Tamuka Nyoni said concerned youths stormed the service station demanding answers.
“Some people approached us complaining that fuel was there at West Garage but attendants were demanding forex. We drove there and they told us that they were only selling to those with US dollars and rand.
“We started arguing as we wanted to understand why they were doing that. We wanted to lock up the garage until they comply because already they are not taking EcoCash and if they refuse bond notes and swipe how do they expect locals to access fuel?” asked Cde Nyoni.
He said youths left the garage after the intervention of police who had come to ensure there was no violence.
The garage manager Mr Obert Murwira confirmed the encounter with Zanu-PF youths.
He admitted that the garage sells its fuel in forex only, saying that is because they order from outside the country.
He said a litre of petrol costs $1 while R100 is equivalent to US$7.
“Yes we sell our fuel in forex because we get it from outside the country using foreign currency. Some people came here and we tried to explain to them but they would not understand,” he said.
Early this month angry motorists temporarily closed Total Service Station in Victoria Falls in protest over hoarding of fuel and favouritism by the garage attendants.
Similar complaints have emerged from various service stations which are accused of feeding the black market despite getting fuel from Government.
Energy and Power Development Minister, Dr Joram Gumbo has warned fuel traders and filling stations that are withholding fuel and those supplying the black market that they risk losing their trading licences.
Dr Gumbo recently said Police and Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) have been deployed all over the country to carry out random raids on rogue service stations.
This comes after a realisation that some service stations are withholding fuel to supply the black market and pirate taxis. — @ ncubeleon