Zimbabweans enjoy improved fuel supplies after months of shortages

Motorists queue for fuel at a service station in Bulawayo. File picture: Philimon Bulawayo/Reuters
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Zimbabwean motorists, particularly in the capital Harare, have enjoyed a steady supply of fuel over the past week with queues at filling stations drastically reduced while dealers continue to notify them of the availability of either petrol or diesel for sale.

Unlike in recent months when motorists had to queue up for several hours before fueling up, the past week has seen them driving straight to the courtyard and being assisted immediately by filling station attendants.

Zimbabwe has not been able to import enough fuel to satisfy customer demand for several years now because of foreign currency constraints. It is not clear why the situation has improved during the past week.

A Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) spokesperson did not respond to queries from Xinhua last week over the improved supplies. T

axi driver Alfred Paradza said the situation could have improved because of rising prices which were limiting motorists to buying fuel for immediate use. “I don’t think supplies have improved. Fuel is now very expensive and not many motorists can afford to buy in huge quantities.

Things are now tough and we only buy enough to keep us on the road,” he said. Paradza said that there were still some filling stations which continued to have relatively long queues.

“I don’t know what’s with those filling stations. People continue to queue up there yet there will be other filling stations where they can just drive in and buy fuel. Maybe they just don’t know that other filling stations also have fuel,” he said.

ZERA on Sunday announced new pump prices for fuel which are slightly higher than during the previous week, with petrol now costing 16.77 Zimbabwe dollars per liter and diesel 17.53 Zimbabwe dollars per liter.

Both prices are slightly above the interbank foreign exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar to 15.87 Zimbabwe dollars.