Welshman Ncube lashes out at gov over fuel price hikes

MDC president Professor Welshman Ncube

MDC deputy president and ex-industry minister, Welshman Ncube says latest fuel price increases by government will add more suffering to the poor majority.

Government, through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) Tuesday announced a shock 50 percent increase in the price of the scarce commodity.

The hike was the second in just four months, with the first 150 percent increase in January igniting fierce nationwide protests by locals.

According to the new pump prices, petrol now costs RTGS$4.97, up from $3.36, representing a 47.6 percent increase.

Diesel prices also shot up from RTGS$3.22 to RTGS$4.89, representing a 51.4 percent increase.

In an interview with NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday, Ncube said this could be signs of worse to come.

“The state of the economy is perilous in every respect. All economic indicators show that the people of this country are going to suffer more and more,” he said.

“Inflation is over 75 percent now, basic commodities are going down, wages, incomes are going down; meaning the ordinary working people are going to suffer more and more.

“They are not going to send children to school, not going to get medical services, just to get by and not going to get food. You know that the availability and cost of fuel affects everything.

“The shortages of fuel inevitably leads to the existence of a black market of fuel, they lead to increases in prices which has a domino effect on everything else.”

Ncube said the Zanu PF led government presiding over the current crisis showed it was clueless when it comes to solutions on how to remedy the dire situation.

“The point is simple, the current government is completely unable to address the economic challenges the country faces. In fact, they appear to be clueless.

“They are tampering with this and that; touching on this and that aimlessly.”

Meanwhile, amid growing dismay over the fuel price increase and its implications among the majority, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cabinet, it seemed, did not deliberate of the mater Tuesday.

Quizzed over the omission at a post-cabinet media briefing Tuesday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa gave a general response of saying that cabinet has always been “seized” with the plight of citizens.

Former Finance Minister and top MDC official Tendai Biti has said government was showing signs of confusion on to solve the crisis.