Govt descends heavily on unscrupulous fuel importers

Staff Reporter

Cabinet has resolved to descend heavily on all companies importing fuel using foreign currency obtained from the government’s auction system and then refuse to trade in local currency.

Briefing the media after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said that government will now prosecute or cancel fuel trading licenses for fuel dealers who abuse foreign currency obtained from the auction system.

“Cabinet received a report on the country’s fuel and power demand and supply situation which was presented by the Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda. Cabinet noted with deep concern that some fuel companies are abusing the foreign currency obtained from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction to procure fuel and then sell the fuel to consumers in foreign currency. The companies are supposed to follow laid down regulations in order to enable the general motoring public to access fuel in local currency,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

Minister Mutsvangwa added that government now has in its possession a list of companies abusing the forex facility and was going to punish all offenders.

“Cabinet was furnished with a comprehensive list of the companies and retail outlets abusing the foreign currency facility and directed that firm action be instituted against the unscrupulous traders. The action involves prosecution of offenders, cancellation of fuel trading licenses or heavy fines as shall be determined by the team of relevant line Ministries in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as the source of the funds abused,” said the Minister.

Despite the improvement of fuel supply in the country, some companies and service stations were refusing to sell fuel using local currency despite importing the product using the foreign currency they might have obtained at the government’s auction system at a favourable rate.