MPs have taken government to task over its fuel pricing policy following revelations that the country’s petrol and diesel is the most expensive in the region.
Hurungwe Central MP Godfrey Beremauro (Zanu PF) on Wednesday quizzed Energy deputy minister Tsitsi Muzenda on why Zimbabwe’s fuel was way more expensive compared to neighbouring countries like Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.
“It is true, our fuel is a bit more expensive compared to others in the region because we have several taxes we add to the fuel when it reaches here,” Muzenda replied.
But, Harare West MP Jessie Majome (MDC-T) said if it was the government taxation systems that were causing high fuel prices in the country, then the same government must review its taxes to ensure fuel prices were fair.
“Is it not that the ministry is falling afoul of the general policy of improving ease of doing business and making it easier to do business, instead of the government being a cost and a pain to producers and industries?” Majome queried.
Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) then questioned why Zambian fuel transported from Mozambique via Zimbabwean was cheaper than the local one.
“Zambian fuel passes through Zimbabwe and goes through Chirundu Border Post and when it is there, it costs 80 cents per litre.
Mozambique sells fuel at 50 cents per litre. The minister should explain to us. If they are failing to explain the issue, then the Finance and Economic Development minister must explain because they regulated this,” Chinotimba said.
He said it did not make sense that in Zambia fuel costs 80 cents per litre when in Zimbabwe it was going for $1, 36 per litre.
“As a liberated country like us, we should be enlightened as to why our fuel is so expensive. We are in a liberated zone, not Rhodesia,” Chinotimba said.
Muzenda then said the questions on taxation of fuel should be directed to Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo.