Govt dismisses rumours on USD fuel prices

By Shongedzai Mugwagwa

Government has dismissed as fake news social media messages circulating claiming that with effect from Monday 14 January 2018, fuel will be sold in United States dollars.

 Ministry of Energy officials conducted by the Harare Post strongly refuted the claim, saying that it was fake news meant to cause despondency and uprisings amid the intermittent supplies of fuel.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Dr Gloria Magombo said, “There was no such meeting as purported by the fake news peddlers happened. Nothing has changed and l assure motorists to remain calm.”

She, however, said that she was aware of the challenges in the supply of fuel and she assured the motorists that she expected the situation to return to normalcy in the coming week.

The message circulating alleges that Government has given a green light that with effect from Monday, fuel will be sold in United States Dollars (USD) whilst the RTGS, Bond and Ecocash will be rated to the rate of the day.

Minister Joram Gumbo urged service stations to accommodate every motorist with any currency and castigated the act of denying other forms of payment.

A survey conducted by the Harare Post revealed that motorists are agitated by the message circulating on social media.

However, an unnamed fuel retailer claimed that Government has given them a green light to source their own fuel and charge it in USD. This was strongly refuted by Ministry officials.

“It does not make any sense to claim that Government has given a green light to the fuel industry to dollarize yet the same authority denied to do the same. These are just fake social media news bent on causing despondency and alarm,” said one official who asked to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, Minister Gumbo is on a one week official visit to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates to strike a fuel deal which will alleviate the fuel situation in the country.