Govt must revisit blending law

HARARE - Government's hasty introduction of the mandatory use of blended fuel in August last year, and in the process denying motorists the choice of buying the fuel of their choice has come back to haunt them.

The green fuel stocks have been depleted and the minister of energy Dzikamai Mavhaire has had to issue a damage control statement to the effect that the blend will remain at 10 percent until further notice.

It was always doubtful whether Green Fuel, the company that was given the monopoly, would meet the high level of demand that would sustain the creeping increases which motorists have bitterly opposed.

Government started with a 5 percent blend in August last year, which  was quickly increased to 10 percent and 15 percent by November.

The envisaged 20 percent blend by March now looks untenable.

In addition, many questions have remained unanswered.

No studies have been done to determine the effect on vehicle engines.

In Brazil where blended fuel is used, motorists are given a gadget to mitigate the effects of blended fuel.

Thabani Mpofu, through his lawyer Tendai Biti has challenged Mavhaire, and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority against the mandatory regulation of fuel beyond 10 percent.

He avers the monopoly and blending ratios do not guarantee fair competition and are therefore not in the interests of motorists.

He says the net effect of compulsory blending is that unleaded fuel is now banned in Zimbabwe.

He therefore argues that the mandatory blending is a violation of the people’s fundamental right to freedom of choice and fairness as provided for in the Constitution.

Command economics has been proven to be a folly in the past when the country ran out of basic food supplies.

Has government not learnt from past mistakes?

Examples of how monopolies like Zesa, the Grain Marketing Board and many others have failed this country abound.

Jonathan Moyo, the minister of information has acknowledged government made a mistake  and says there is need to revisit the issue.

Government has now been given an opportunity to take a second look at the defective blend policy and should not be ashamed to do so.

After all this is what rational people do.

They made their bed, so they must lie in it — for once.

Comments (2)

Dictatorship manifests itself in many ways,and the mandatory blending of fuel is a case in point.

David Kasiyamhuka - 14 January 2014

Government should address the out-cry from its people, if its really for the people.

Softaz - 15 January 2014

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