Responding to a question from Chimanimani East legislator Joshua Sacco, Mudyiwa said Zimbabwe had enough fuel stored at Feruka and Msasa but the major problem was that it had to be paid for first.
She said there had been an upsurge in demand for fuel due to increased economic activity as well as panic buying but the panic buying should ease as soon as people were sure that there is enough fuel in the country.
“We have enough fuel in the country. That I can assure you, but the challenge is that we do not have enough foreign currency to pay for the fuel so that it is withdrawn by the fuel suppliers and taken to the wholesalers and the retailers,” Mudyiwa said.
“The queues are continuing – yes, but this is all because of speculation. Following the panic buying that has been going on in the country, there is a lot of hoarding of fuel in the country. There is a lot of unprecedented withdrawal of fuel in the country which has caused all this artificial shortage in the country, but there is enough fuel in our storage tanks.
“We have our storage tanks and we also have strategic reserves for fuel in the country. I can assure you, we have enough fuel, diesel and blend to take the country through for the next 36 days. From Saturday there has been pumping in of over 6 000 000 litres of diesel and blend into the country on a daily basis, but the problem, like I said before, we cannot withdraw it without payment upfront.
“The Reserve Bank has been trying to provide the funds. I am sure most of you have read in the newspaper that the Reserve Bank has availed US$41 million for payment of fuel and that fuel we have paid for is in the country.”
HON. SACCO: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development Hon. Mudyiwa and my question is, what Government policy do we have in place or what assurance do we have to the nation that we are going to have adequate fuel supplies for our country, considering that we have increased demand for fuel due to an increased economic activity after the Second Republic? And, also that our fuel is the cheapest in the region – what can we do to make sure that it is not diverted to the black market? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT (HON. MUDYIWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Sacco for such a pertinent question, particularly now that we are going through this turbulence. Unfortunately, I could not grasp all the questions because of the noise that was going on.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Minister. Can Hon. Sacco please repeat your question quickly?
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