Fuel crisis resurfaces in Bulawayo

Commuter left stranded on Tuesday morning

Commuters were left stranded Tuesday morning as most commuter omnibus operators withdrew their services due to fuel shortages.

Most fueling station in the city had run out of stocks forcing motorists to spend hours in long queues.

A survey conducted by CITE on Monday and Tuesday morning revealed that most fueling stations did not have diesel in stock while others were only supplying only petrol.

The shortage of diesel impacted the transport system which mostly relies on diesel to operate.

Some of the few commuter omnibuses that were on the road took advantage of the crisis to hike fares.

Residents who spoke to this publication said they were made to pay more this morning for their trip to their workplaces.

Most operators who ply most routes in the high-density suburbs hiked fares to between $1.50 and $2 a single trip.

A single trip using public transport costs $1.

“This morning I was forced to part $1.50 for a trip to town due to shortages of kombis. I thought the government had said they found a solution by introducing buses but the problem still persists,” said a commuter, Micheal Ndlovu.

In an interview with CITE, Ndaba Mabunda, Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Cooperative marketing director said their members were crippled by the fuel shortages.

“There is no fuel; it is absolutely dry in garages. There is only petrol for small cars, but diesel is unavailable,” said Mabunda.

Mabunda however, dismissed reports that they had increased fares.

“We are not the only transportation association and hence we need to sit down with other associations to discuss if there will be a rise in the fares,” he said.

Mabunda noted that most bus companies operating local routes continued operating since they receive their fuel supplies from the government.

“Despite garages not having diesel, it seems like buses have fuel and they have been transporting passengers,” he noted.

The country has been dogged by fuel shortages in the last few months and in January government increased fuel prices by 150 percent a decision which was met with mass protests.

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