Abigail Mawonde and Dorcas Jiri—
Government yesterday slashed import duty on fuel in a move expected to trigger a reduction in the cost of other goods and services. This comes as fuel retailers were expected to reduce their prices by at least 20 percent in line with global trends where the prices recently fell, but they have been resisting a Government directive to do so.
The ultimatum expired yesterday.
With the relief on duty, fuel retailers are now expected to cut their prices by over 20 percent.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Cde Patrick Chinamasa announced the reduction of duty on fuel imports in a Statutory Instrument published in the Government Gazette yesterday.
Duty on leaded and unleaded petrol went down from $0,45 per litre to $0,35, while that of diesel was reduced from $0,40 per litre to $0,30 per litre.
In line with falling global oil prices, Government had given fuel dealers up to yesterday to reduce the retail price of petrol to $1,32 per litre and $1,20 for diesel.
A survey by The Herald in Harare showed that although the dealers had started slashing prices, the margins were lower than those prescribed by the Government.
Total Zimbabwe reduced its petrol price from $1,49 to $1,45, while diesel was slashed from $1,38 to $1,35 per litre.
Engen was selling petrol at $1,39 per litre and diesel for $1,30.
At Zuva Petroleum, petrol was pegged at $1,41 per litre from $1,50, while diesel was selling at $1,29 from $1,32.
Sakunda reduced petrol prices to $1,43 per litre from $1,48, while the price of diesel has fallen from $1,38 to $1,33 per litre.
Redan reduced its petrol price from $1,44 to $1,42 and diesel from $1,33 to $1,29.
At Trek service station, petrol now costs $1,37 from $1,42 a litre, while diesel is selling at $1,27.
Extreme service station is selling at the cheapest prices at $1,20 a litre for diesel from $1,32.
Motorists said while they applauded the slight downward movement in the fuel prices, they expected the Government to enforce its directive for them to be reduced further.
“I am happy fuel prices have gone down, petrol was taking much from my budget. I am just hoping that the prices will continue to go down and that will make life cheaper for us,” said Mr Solomon Mhandu of Emerald Hill.
A kombi operator plying the City-Mabvuku route said business was now viable as high fuel prices were chewing his profits.
Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge last week issued a two-week ultimatum to fuel dealers to reduce their prices to match international trends.