Petrol prices in Karoi have lept from $1,36 to $2 per litre, as a black market for the liquid has resurfaced since last week.
This follows the unavailability of both petrol and diesel in the farming town that has seen some cars and buses, as well as kombis grounded.
By Nhau Mangirazi
Out of six services stations within Karoi central business district, only one had fuel on Thursday, as shortages of foreign currency take their toll on the economy.
Taxi operators said they were being forced to travel to Magunje, about 35 kilometers away, to get fuel, while others had to endure black market prices.
“All service stations do not have fuel and it has affected operations. I only managed to get fuel from Magunje although it is not enough to last many days,” a taxi operator, John Marega said.
Another taxi operator, who identified himself as Reuben, said he bought petrol on the black market for $2 per litre from long distance truck drivers, who were now making a brisk business following the crisis.
“I had no option as I have a contract to ferry kids to a pre-school daily, as the parents paid me in advance,” he said.
Some rural kombi drivers said they were facing similar challenges and had resorted to the black market.
“It is not as clean as it must be, but that is the only option for us to remain in business,” a Kazangarare-bound kombi driver, Regis Matanga, said.
Service station operators said they last received their last week and have not heard from suppliers since.
“We do not know when we’ll get our deliveries, as head offices is mum on supplies,” a manager with one of the service stations, preferring not to be named for professional reasons, said.
Zimbabwe has been facing acute foreign currency crisis after introducing bond notes and coins introduced to avert looming cash crisis two years ago.