Minister of Energy and Power Development Joram Gumbo has dismissed rumours circulating on social media that government was plotting to increase fuel prices.
A statement circulating on social media alleges there was a closed-door meeting held between fuel stakeholders and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, where an alleged agreement to increase petrol and diesel prices to $5.50 and $5.51 respectively was reached.
“The ministry would like to assure the general public that no such meeting was ever held and no plans to increase the fuel price were ever considered,” said Gumbo.
He said following the review of fuel prices on January 12 2019, the government is not planning on increasing fuel prices again.
“The RBZ governor, in his monetary policy, indicated that foreign currency requirements for government expenditure and other essential commodities that include fuel, cooking oil, electricity, medicines and water chemical shall continue to be made available through the existing Foreign Currency Exchange Allocation Committee,” he said.
Gumbo said there is a danger the false statement being circulated on social media could have a negative effect of causing motorists and the public to engage in panic buying and hoarding of fuel for speculative purposes.
“Motorists must not be influenced by negative publicity, mainly through social media. I want to assure the nation there is not going to be a fuel price increase as being falsely circulated-save for the usual small price charges of a cent or two caused by movements in the international fuel prices,” he said.
“Though the fuel supply situation in the country remains constrained as evidenced by the fuel queues which developed over the weekend especially due to diesel shortages, which was a result of logistical glitches.
“Government is doing everything possible to ensure that adequate fuel is available in the market. The diesel supply situation has already improved significantly as the number of oil companies are distributing increased volumes of the product into the market.”
Despite an increase in fuel prices, the commodity has remained in short supply with long winding queues a common feature at most fueling stations.