ZERA warns fuel dealers against overcharging, hoarding fuel

By Nobleman Runyanga

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has warned fuel retailers against deliberately hoarding or limiting fuel supplies and overcharhing motorists for reasons of speculation and proftieering. This warning was issued in a statement which was published by the authority in the print media this week.

“Isolated cases of service stations charging fuel prices that are above the regulated threshold have also come to ZERA’s attention,” noted ZERA in the statement.

The authority indicated that such business malpractices were criminal.

“Such actions are in violation of the Petroleum (Fuel Pricing) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (No.1) published in Statutory Instrument 20 of 2015 which prohibits the withholding of petroleum production products for speculative purposes and charging fuel prices that are beyond the prescribed limits,” read part of the statement.

ZERA highlighted that its compliance officers were assessing the situation on the ground and warned of the dangers of hoarding fuel.

“Hoarding fuel poses high risks of fires, which can damage property, bodily harm or death. The use of containers increases chances of fuel contamination which compromises fuel quality and results in damage to motor engines,” said the authority.

The energy regulator urged members of the public to participate in curbing the malpractice by reporting the unscrupulous retailers.

“Members of the public are advised to report all fuel retailers who are suspected of deliberately withholding or limiting fuel supplies for speculative purposes. The Public is also advised to report retailers who are charging fuel prices that are above the approved threshold to ZERA,” read part of the statement.