Zim govt to continue supporting fuel importers
Harare, (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe government will continue supporting fuel importers through the issuance of Letters of Credit while players are also expected to make use of proceeds from foreign currency sales to procure the product, a senior official has said.
Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary Gloria Magombo said retailers who sold fuel in United States dollars should in turn utilise those funds to import.
“We came up with clear policy positions with regards to short term measures as well as long term ones. In the short term, the Letter of Credit system will continue with the facility being facilitated by the RBZ while the auction system is being managed and it will also go together with direct fuel imports for those who have their own free funds,” she told Parliament.
“What we want to also do further, based on the discussion we had with the RBZ, is that in particular for fuel companies, there will be an audit which will be done for especially those who are selling in USD to make sure that money they are collecting is the same money they are using to import more product to ensure continuous supply of product in the market.
“We are worried that if that audit through the Financial Intelligence Unit and Zera is not done to follow up, these people will just take this money and put it aside and still want to go through the RBZ for support yet opening up is actually meant to allow them to do exactly what they are clamoring for to say we sell in USD and generate our own money and import.”
Fuel is one of Zimbabwe’s top imports, but shortages have persisted for some time now due to foreign currency shortages.
Statistics indicate that in the first quarter of the year, the RBZ allocated about $474 million towards fuel imports, compared to $383 million allocated during the same period last year.
Magombo said the government was determined to ensure improved fuel availability and that it was correctly priced.
“One of the key issues, which is a strategy which we are following up, is that of ensuring that the fuel price is right, there is no discrepancy between the local price and that which is in USD,” she said.