May you allow me Mr. President Sir, that since the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development is in the House, he could respond to this issue? However, in short I would like to say as Government, we have got policies which support our currency but because of speculators and corrupt individuals, you will discover that our exports and foreign currency earnings compared to other countries, Zimbabwe is supposed to be one of the most stable currencies or economies. So we ask where this is coming from, the RBZ gives USD to Petroleum industry but people are engaging in deals instead of using those monies to procure fuel. The biggest thing that we need to do as Zimbabweans is to eliminate corruption because it is detrimental to the success of the economy.
We know that when a new policy is promulgated, there are people who seek to compromise that policy but the Hon. Minister of Finance’s team and the Governor of the RBZ are busy working on correcting these anomalies. Recently, they mentioned that we are seeking a way of guiding people in terms of money markets. Some of the things cannot be shared but Hon. Members of Parliament and Senators should take it upon themselves to educate people so that corruption is eradicated. I thank you.
THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF SENATE: Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Prof. M. Ncube, a question has been raised by one of the Hon. Senators concerning the fact that fuel now appears to be available in USD; there is no fuel which can be bought using our local currency.
THE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (HON. PROF. M. NCUBE): It is certainly true that if you go to most of the service stations, there are more of them that are selling fuel in USD and not in ZWL as they would have promised us. Some of these fuel operators would come to the auction to source USD to purchase fuel. They are successful in doing so but they go on to pay for this fuel but the condition is that they should sell in ZWL, they do not comply, they proceed to sell in USD. They also go further and pay the taxes as well which ought to have been paid in USD; they pay excise duty in ZWL. So, there are two offences here – depriving the public of ZWL fuel and then depriving the fiscus and the public of rightfully earning taxes.
That is an issue we are dealing with and we have decided to really narrow the space and put in a facility through NOIC so that it is part of the architecture of accessing the fuel in the first place, making sure that it is available in ZWL. It is our expectation that this will improve the availability in ZWL. The moment you have these kinds of Shenanigans, you also now have interplay between the fuel market and the parallel market feed into each other. People looking for arbitrage gaps, it is part of the game that they play but we are working hard to close that gap to make sure that the public are better treated by the fuel companies.
Continued next page