BY MOSES MATENGA
FUEL queues resurfaced in the capital this week, with a number of service stations not having the commodity, sparking panic buying as the festive season approaches.
A snap survey by NewsDay Weekender revealed that most service stations across Harare had no fuel with petrol being the biggest challenge.
National Oil Company Infrastructure of Zimbabwe board chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube told NewsDay Weekender that fuel shortages were being caused by an unscheduled maintenance exercise at pumping stations in Mozambique.
“We had a problem in Mozambique where they were maintaining the port so they were not pumping,” he said.
But Ncube said there was no need to panic as the situation was expected to return to normalcy in “a day or two”.
“We have started pumping now. The problem should normalise in a day or two. The scheduling in Mozambique caught us offside when they closed the port for maintenance.”
Motorists had begun to panic and reminisced on the days they used to queue for several days on end to access fuel.
“What we were holding was a bit low because of the pricing of petrol, so the dealers tend to sell each time they get fuel. They put it to the market instead of holding some of it,” Ncube added.
“I can’t tell you in terms of numbers, but for a few days we were not pumping but we normally pump around four million a day, but for diesel we were holding stocks, but for petrol our stocks were a bit on the low side and that is why they depleted very quickly.
“We have been massaging the problem since last week hoping that it won’t get this far, but fortunately we are now pumping.”
According to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, petrol consumption in the country declined by 12,53 % in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe