Parly grills Energy ministry official over fuel prices

MINES and Energy Parliamentary Portfolio Committee members on Tuesday grilled Energy ministry secretary, Patson Mbiriri over the high fuel prices in Zimbabwe, which are higher than in neighbouring countries.

by VENERANDA LANGA

Mbiriri had appeared before Parliament to speak on the $94 million budgetary allocation that his ministry got for 2018 when acting chairperson of the Mines Committee, Tongai Muzenda asked him to explain why the fuel price in Zimbabwe remained higher than in other countries.

“The reasons are that we get our fuel 0,54 cents free on board (FOB) from Beira and sell it at $1,38 per litre, and that difference is largely a reflection of the tax review,” Mbiriri said.

“Our tax regime vis-a-vis fuel is not as kind as it is elsewhere in the region, and when the FOB goes down, that does not change the tariffs we charge on fuel and for that reason we end up not being competitive.”

He said it was difficult to change the situation, as every country gets revenue through taxes from fuel, beer and tobacco.

“There is a possibility that we can get our fuel cheaper depending on where we get it from. In the past, we were more sensitive politically on where we got our fuel from. We should address the issues related to tax and influence the ministry of Finance to look at any adjustments to duty tariffs,” Mbiriri said.

Glen View North MP Fani Munengami then asked Mbiriri to explain the reasons why there were shortages of electricity meters.

Mbiriri said 623 000 prepaid electricity meters had been installed, leaving an outstanding balance of over 100 000 meters as per the target of 800 000 prepaid meters.

“The major challenge is that the prepaid meters need foreign currency to import. In terms of transformers, we are short of about 4 000 transformers. Quite a number of them have been vandalised while some were struck by lightning. We need to replace them as they are critical in terms of availing power to the nation,” he said.

Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna said Zesa should look at entering into public-private partnerships if the parastatal was handicapped in the importation of prepaid meters.

Mbiriri said they were opening up on importation with a tender having been flighted and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority currently looking at those that want to participate.

9 Comments

  1. Its very unfortunate that the Perm Sec decides to duck and dive on the issue of high fuel prices and it is simple quick wins like these which are going to contribute to EDs downfall if there are not managed well.

    1. true and they also bark on the wrong tree in terms of escalation of basic commodities prices. if fuel is reduced everything else will follow suit, manje they are claiming kuti retailers and producers are profiteering vasingaone kuti thats where its all emanating from just a word of advice, they should stop being militant and tackle these challenges on an economic point of view, you cant “coup” the economy

  2. I am also of the opinion that the explanation given is technical and is in a bid to slip from the fact as admitted by him that our fuel prices are not competitive. So what is he doing about it????
    The tax % has largely remained constant over the years but the fuel price has increased dramatically! he should not talk about revenue collection of other countries, its like comparing oranges and bananas. Ours is a case of rampant super profits and this matter MUST be addressed pretty soon in order to bring about viability in the economy, similarly with the tollgate fees. If he has no tangible focus on how to reduce the fuel prices then perhaps restructuring of the executive is an option. Frankly the fuel prices have to be the same regionally.

  3. John Bond(fencepost tortoise)

    And this is not UNLEADED fuel, It must even be cheaper than the regional fuel as most of it if not all of it is not mandatorily blended with nzimbe dza Billy who is a PERSONAL friend of ED. Imagine blended fuel much more expensive than UNLEADED.

    Kutonga kwaro************** Gamba

  4. And we keep hearing that zimra exceeds its tax collection targets. This simply points to over taxation of current taxpayers, not an increase in compliance or business volumes.

    An individual is taxed from PAYE and the remainder is further taxed through VAT, fuel, toll fees etc.

  5. Sekuru Chaminuka

    Comment…Most service stations are operated by the politicians hence the reluctance to reduce the fuel prices. Alos most fuel dealers are the politicans themselves or are connected to the politicans, eg Justice Wadyajena who is ED’s nephew. Dont expect much from this lacoste cabal

  6. Taxation is not made in heaven. It is man-made. Leaders should not use such lame excuses to not do the right thing and in this case ensuring fair pricing of an essential good. There is a point beyond which taxation becomes counterproductive. We are all making noises about steep prices of basic commodities. I dare say the cost of fuel and energy has contributed immensely to this state of affairs. Come on, let us begin to get things right, everything including the small things, so that we move this country to where it ought to be…right direction and destination. That is, prosperity of course.

  7. for every litre of petrol govt tax is 45cents. the amount of taxation is too much. it funds debts incurred when politicians looted NOCZIM in the name of agriculture free inputs. Look also at number plates $160…. passport $250…. then we blame retailers for over pricing.. Rotten policies is the problem!!

  8. Zimbabwe – the big ripoff country. Fuel in Botswana is half our price, (politicians are the importers/distributors/petrol station owners), tyres in Botswana are half our price (ED owns a major tyre and garage franchise), nearly ALL foodstuffs and hardware cost 50% of what they cost in rip-off Zimbabwe. Nothing will be done, because rip-off politicians control just about every facet of this country’s business. The Noczim fuel scandal debt has been paid long ago, so who is still collecting that money?????????

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