The arrest of up-and-coming ZANU-PF stalwart, Saviour Kasukuwere for allegedly selling fuel at exorbitant prices made world headlines but several people have been asking why he was singled out.
Surely, he was not the only one selling fuel at the black-market price. Fuel queues that were the order of the day have disappeared but the volume of traffic in most towns has not declined, which means people are relying on the black market.
People are asking whether Kasukuwere’s case is just another publicity stunt to make it appear as if the government will not spare anyone by arresting a top official and then of course letting the matter rest.
Some even believe that Kasukuwere may have stepped on some chef’s toes and was merely being told that when it comes to the worst he too can be sacrificed. The government has not been able to supply fuel in any meaningful quantities since May though it has floated several petrofin bills which have been oversubscribed.
The government has since deregulated the fuel sector but continues to meddle thus restricting the free-flow of the fuel. Some market watchers argue that the government should get out of fuel procurement completely. The National Oil Company of Zimbabwe could import fuel for the government only.
Public transport operators, they argue, should source their own fuel. The current subsidy, they argue is grossly being abused and distorts the market. After all they are already charging fares that do not take the fuel subsidy into account. Government meddling is promoting corruption and favouritism which does not exist on the black market.