Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
Currency reforms recently introduced by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are likely to bring stability in the fuel sector, National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC) board chairman Engineer Daniel Mackenzie-Ncube has said.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube last month announced the ban on the use of a multi-currency system and reintroduced the Zimbabwean dollar.
The move has seen prices of basic goods and services being slashed as foreign currency rates tumbled on the informal market.
“The move by Government to ban the multi-currency system has seen the exchange rates coming down and that movement should be felt in the prices of goods and services, fuel included,” said Eng Mackenzie-Ncube.
“The most important thing is that the black market rate and the interbank market rate are almost similar. The incentive of selling fuel on the black market has been curtailed because of the currency reforms as initiated by the Ministry of Finance. That has assisted us a great deal.”
Eng Mackenzie-Ncube said NOIC was working with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to unlock funding for more fuel to be brought into the country.
“We are working with the RBZ to secure lines of credit to enable us to import more fuel to satisfy the market in the not too distant future,” he said.
Eng Mackenzie-Ncube said more ethanol would be transported from Chiredzi to compliment the petrol for blending purposes. He said they were working flat out to address the issues of indiscipline within the fuel sector.
“When we came in, there was a lot of indiscipline among the fuel dealers and ZERA, and the ministry are seized with all that,” he said.
“People were not dispensing all the fuel and it would find its way to the black market. I am sure Government is working to address that and I am sure the fuel situation will be back to normal.”
Last week, Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Minister Fortune Chasi said players in the fuel industry had made proposals that he was still considering on how to address the leakages. He said Government wanted to understand the movement of fuel from the time it gets into the country up to the time it is sold at service stations.
Some players in the sector have been accused of accessing foreign currency on the inter-bank market, but divert the commodity to the black market.