Zimbabwe plays yo-yo with fuel prices


The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA ) today marginally increased fuel prices, the second such review within five days.

The price of diesel shot up to $18.66 from $17.28, while that of petrol went up by 30 cents to $18.70.

The previous review was announced last Friday when the price of diesel was reduced to $17.28 making diesel cheaper than petrol.

ZERA said the latest increase was in line with Statutory Instrument 270 of 2019.

“The SI 270/19 requires that fuel prices be determined using the previous month’s international market price and announcement done with effect from the 5th of every month,” ZERA said.

The hike in the price of diesel comes as a relief for oil retailers who had expressed disgruntlement after ZERA last week reduced the price of the commodity by $2.27 in line with a decline in international prices caused by the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

But the price review is against the backdrop of continuing shortages of both petrol and diesel suspected to be caused, in large part, by colluding by retailers in an attempt to force frequent upward price reviews.

Government, after removing subsidies on fuel last year, had said constant price reviews would improve availability of the commodity, but the situation has largely remained unchanged.

But the black market for the commodity is thriving and well stocked, entrenching suspicions of collusion and corruption in the sector.

This prompted the central bank this week to start publishing weekly statistics of fuel funding and beneficiaries in order to force accountability and transparency.

It said it had arranged financing worth US$120 million for fuel imports for this month alone.-New Ziana


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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