EDITOR — With the global oil prices tumbling to around $30 a barrel it is of major concern that fuel prices remain high in Zimbabwe with motorists being forced to fork out up to $1,40 per litre for petrol despite being blended with locally-processed ethanol.
As the international prices continue to tumble, most countries have adjusted their prices to match the trends on the international market.
In neighbouring countries, Namibian motorist are paying US$0,59c per litre, in Tanzania US$0,75c, in Zambia US$0,79c, in Mozambique US$0,89c and in South Africa US$0,67c.
Globally, Zimbabwe is one of the few countries remaining with high fuel prices.
Motorists in Zimbabwe should be paying less than US$0,80c per litre of petrol but a group of greedy politicians led by a presidential hopeful has taken over the control of the fuel pipelines, bulk wholesale and retail business.
Pure greed from the group has seen the fuel prices remaining high causing a negative impact on the economy.
Local production in most companies remains low because of the high fuel prices, forcing the country to purchase commodities from South Africa, making Zimbabwe a huge supermarket of South African products.
The regulatory authority, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority should do its work and ensure that the current pricing model is in line with what is prevailing on the international market as the price of fuel is a key cost driver in production.
The adjustment of fuel prices should be done in accordance with the international prices.
Similarly, the Competition and Tariffs Commission has failed on its mandate by allowing the same actor to control the pipeline, wholesale and retail outlets in the fuel industry thereby creating a monopoly and hence fixing prices very high when they must be lower.
I believe the country is in urgent need of an effective regulatory framework that will strengthen the work of the Competition and Tariffs Commission so that it is able to protect consumers from artificial monopolistic price hikes.