Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has threatened filling station operators against increasing fuel prices in a notice that comes after the central bank introduced a new payment arrangement.
The notice by ZERA comes at a time when fuel is becoming more scarce in Zimbabwe.
“The Petroleum Industry is advised that the prices of fuel have not changed and operators are expected to continue selling fuel into the market as is expected of them,” ZERA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Edington Mazambani said in the notice. “Any operator found hoarding fuel will face the full wrath of the law”.
“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Officers have been deployed in all the towns and cities to ensure compliance.”
Zimbabwe’s Central Bank the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) new payment arrangement by the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) shall be done through the interbank foreign exchange market according to the Governor John Mangudya.
“There shall be only one foreign exchange to rate to be used in the market for the importation of all goods and services,” Mangudya said.
“This means that the 1:1 exchange rate that was being used by OMCs for the procurement of fuel will be discontinued with immediate effect.”
“The new position is necessary to promote the efficient use of foreign exchange and to minimize and guard against incidences of arbitrage within the economy,” Mangudya explained.
In response to the new payment measures by the RBZ, in terms of amendments to Statutory Instruments 9 and 10 of 2019, ZERA starting from today, however, slated maximum prices for diesel at $4.89 a litre and $4.97 for Blend (E10) petrol.
Fuel increases in Zimbabwe have resulted in violent demonstrations in January this year.