RBZ disburses $40m to shore up fuel supplies

HARARE – The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) says it has disbursed $40 million towards the purchase of fuel to stem long queues across the country.

In a statement, RBZ governor John Mangudya urged motorists not to engage in panic-buying of the commodity, claiming there is sufficient fuel available for the country.

“The bank (RBZ) released $40 million for the procurement of fuel on Friday, the 5th of October, 2018 and the fuel is currently being supplied and delivered to the various filling stations and supply points across the market.

“The bank is grateful to the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe for working round the clock to ensure that the fuel is delivered to the marketing companies across the country.

“In view of these positive developments, the bank would like to assure the public that there is sufficient fuel available in the country and therefore there is no need for panic-buying of fuel and other essential commodities,” Mangudya said.

Zimbabwe has over the last week experienced biting fuel shortages as a result of intermittent supplies, which have been blamed on foreign currency shortages.

Authorities also attributed the shortages to logistical challenges.

“The bank has noted that increase of prices of certain goods has followed the spike in foreign currency parallel market rates which is being caused by some people bent to dupe the public of their hard-earned income.

“The opportunists are manipulating foreign currency parallel market rates to cause unnecessary panic and despondency and destabilisation of the economy. Such counterproductive behaviour is unwarranted and should be condemned by all peace-loving Zimbabweans,” Mangudya said.

The country has been using the multi-currency system since 2009.

The surrogate currency, introduced at the end of 2016 by ousted former president Robert Mugabe’s government to mitigate the prevailing liquidity crisis, plunged as Finance minister Mthuli Ncube warned long-suffering Zimbabweans to brace for more pain, before things get better.

At the same time, the push for government to review the two cents per dollar tax gathered steam yesterday with Energy and Power Development minister Joram Gumbo appealing to the authorities to review their position.

Gumbo warned that the tax, which has already caused disquiet among petroleum firms, would lead to massive fuel price increases whose domino effect could potentially result in economic chaos.

Yesterday, the bond note was trading at 1:1,50 against the US dollar while Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transfers were fetching $2,20 and upwards.

Government also made a controversial decision to create Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) for exporters, while leaving the rest clutching onto their RGTS accounts which are now effectively Zimbabwe dollar accounts.

But Mangudya yesterday, said there was no change in the multi-currency regime adopted in 2009.

“The bank would also like to reassure the public of that the multi-currency system will remain in use and the bank shall continue to secure lines of credit to supplement the country’s foreign currency earnings from exports and Diaspora remittances in order to support the entire economy,” he said.

He said the central bank had already started drawing down foreign currency from the $500 million lines of credit advised in the Monetary Policy Statement issued by the Central Bank last week.

“As advised, the purpose of the facilities is to fund the procurement of essential commodities including fuel, electricity, wheat and raw materials for the manufacturing of cooking oil and packaging,” Mangudya said.

Comments (1)

So when the 500m is finished what do we do, borrow again. Guys we don't have the right people in Gvt.

Bango P - 9 October 2018

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