Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
Government is set to introduce a raft of measures to rationalise fuel prices while fighting against cash challenges through ongoing engagements with several countries, Special Advisor to the Presidency Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa has said.
He said the interventions, leveraging on the goodwill Zimbabwe is enjoying across the world after the peaceful political transition in November last year, could help tame prices.
The full rollout of the measures, he said, could also lay the foundation for the introduction of a stable currency.
Addressing the Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial coordinating committee (PCC) meeting in Chinhoyi at the weekend, Ambassador Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe’s international standing had improved significantly.
“President Mnangagwa has made Zimbabwe’s standing in international affairs very high. The President is seized with addressing the price of fuel, which caused inflation to rise.
“He is closely monitoring the situation and that has seen the setting up of a committee of industrialists and other stakeholders chaired by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga to see how and why the prices are rising,” he said.
Of major concern, Ambassador Mutsvangwa said, was that neighbouring Zambia, which transports its fuel through Zimbabwe, has comparatively lower prices for the commodity.
Locally, a litre of petrol costs around $1,40, while it is pegged at around $1,30 in Zambia.
Diesel averages around $1,30, locally, while it costs around $1,22 in Zambia.
“When you realise that Zambia gets its fuel from here, using our roads through the Chirundu Border Post, but our prices are higher in comparison, then it means that something does not add up.
“We are exploring our relations with oil producing nations such as Oman and Abu Dhabi, among others, with the hope that by the time we get to July or August the price will be lower,” he said.
In the interim, improving liquidity, Ambassador Mutsvangwa said, is one of the key benchmarks and deliverables for President Mnangagwa’s administration.
In the country’s interactions with other nations, he said, there was general consensus that Zimbabwe should have its own stable currency and a willingness to assist in taming the liquidity challenges.
“The President and Government are having sleepless nights to ensure that there is liquidity in the country and that queues in banks disappear,” he said.
“With all the big powers and our neighbours focusing on us having our own currency, we are hopeful something has to give so that we have a stable currency soon and liquidity returns to the country.”
Zimbabwe has been battling serious liquidity challenges since adopting the multiple currency regime in 2009 to curb runaway inflation, which decimated the Zimbabwean dollar.