Fuel shortages cripple service delivery in Masvingo



SERVICE delivery has ground to a halt in Masvingo city owing to acute fuel shortages, acting town clerk Edward Mukaratirwa has revealed.

Responding to residents’ queries over failure to collect refuse on the Masvingo Residents and Ratepayers’ Alliance (MURRA) WhatsApp group on Tuesday, Mukaratirwa said they were failing to meet their obligations as the service stations they dealt with were dry.

“We have failed to get diesel and as a result from 26/02/2020 we will not be able to attend to critical service delivery issues like refuse collection, sewer blockages, water pipe bursts and accident scenes, as well as dispatching ambulances,” Mukaratirwa said.

He said council had an arrangement with specific service stations where they paid for 10 000 litres in advance and were given first priority, but the garages had run out of the commodity.

“We have service stations where we pay in advance and get fuel, but unfortunately the whole city at the moment does not have diesel, despite the fact that we had pre-paid for 10 000 litres,” he added.

His revelation attracted mixed reactions among the residents, with some praising him for being open and forthcoming with developments at Town House, while others seemingly blasted him.
Yesterday, Mukaratirwa said the local authority had managed to get some diesel from a local service station, though it would not meet all their needs.

“We have managed to get some diesel from Total though it is not enough for our requirements, but at least service delivery will not be disrupted for a week,” he said.

The country is grappling with a critical fuel shortage that has seen long winding queues reminiscent of the 2007-08 era of economic meltdown and world record inflation return at service stations countrywide, fuelling a thriving black market.

In a major climbdown, government has licensed some service stations to sell fuel in foreign currency, despite abandoning the multi-currency regime.