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Zimdollar fuel to bounce back

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The government is finalising modalities on the return of fuel sold in Zimdollar, according to the Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority (Zera).

Zera has already submitted the modalities on terms and conditions of operations to the government for approval.

Zera chief executive officer, Edington Mazambani, told Business Times that the regulatory body has come up with measures that will reduce arbitrage opportunities arising from selling fuel in local currency when others are selling in US$.

“We are finalising the modalities of bringing local currency fuel but when we bring that fuel, we have to come up with mechanisms that make sure that it reaches the ordinary people and that is exactly what we are working on,” Mazambani said.

“Once the modalities have been agreed upon, we will have standard centralised procurement of local currency charged fuel targeting service stations which are going to operate according to the conditions that we would have agreed with the government.”

The scheme will be open to licensed service stations under set conditions.

“This time there will be more outlets that will be selling fuel in local currency, therefore, there won’t be long queues for the fuel because at the moment there are very few outlets selling the local currency fuel,” he said.

“Currently, there is no limit to the number of outlets we want to have under the scheme but once one has agreed to the conditions and that site has agreed to sell in local currency there won’t be able to sell in any other currency.”

Recently, Zera launched a fuel monitoring system that detects the quantity of fuel at any service station in Zimbabwe through the software. Before the scheme is rolled out the regulatory authority wants to monitor fuel stations selling in local currency first.

Mazambani said: “It’s a centralised fuel monitoring management system and we will have the records in our office and we will be able to tell the amount of fuel present at each service station and if one drains fuel through the software we are able to tell the extent of the loot.”

The government introduced the US$ charged fuel to counter arbitrage opportunities that arose from some service stations which were selling fuel in local currency without proper monitoring.

On fuel hikes in the recent months, Mazambani said the opening up of global economies has caused a high demand in fuel usage resulting in the increase in fuel prices on the international market.

He said the price of fuel might increase and the country will always react to what happens in the international market if the demand for fuel is not matched with increased production.

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