FUEL prices have begun trending downward following the introduction of mandatory blending and the extension for all fuel industry players to label their petrol pumps appropriately, a company official has said.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), two weeks ago extended the deadline for all fuel industry players to label their petrol pumps by an additional week in order to protect consumers from misrepresentations.
This exercise was expected to reflect the correct labelling of all petrol pumps from unleaded petrol or petrol or E5 to blend.
In an interview with NewsDay, Zera chief executive officer Gloria Magombo said the price of fuel has been on a downward trend due to the introduction of mandatory blending.
Magombo said the government was working towards the implementation of regulations with a pre-determined fine for the petroleum offenders which would be gazetted around the beginning of 2014.
“Prices of fuel have been on a downward trend. Petrol prices were as high as $1, 52 per litre in August at the time that mandatory blending E5 was introduced. The prices of fuel are now around $1, 46 per litre due to the introduction of E10,” Magombo said.
Magombo said the decline in fuel prices has been slow due to the fact that from E5 one does not get to E10 immediately, but would have to go through the blend grades in between the two until the price finally settles.
Magombo said according to the same statutory instrument section 3(3) (b), it was also an offence for an importer or wholesaler to import or offer for sale or sell one grade of petroleum product as another grade of petroleum product, hence the statutory instrument requires that labeling be done and also be done properly.
“Contravening the above attracts a fine not exceeding level nine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or both such fine and such imprisonment,” Magombo said.
“Prosecutions have been done during the course of the year to offenders on the labelling requirement,” Magombo said.