Hold your opinion, this is my own

Hold your opinion, this is my own
Published: 18 January 2019 (283 Views)
Worrisome events have occurred in Zimbabwe for the past four days. One does not need to be an intellect or some sort of magician to pinpoint at the root cause i.e, the recent fuel price hikes. Six days ago, the president announced the new fuel prices, from that he got the twimbos twitter name, "minister of fuel". The hilarity seems far-fetched but it all emanated from the fact that this was a deviation from the ordinary way in which these certain issues are announced. The minister of transport and or the head of the portfolio for energy would seem to many as the most probable announcer.

 The debate can rage none stop as to who is the suitable candidate to hold the presser, but the new fuel prices point to a 143% increase. This astronomical hike made Zimbabwe as of 13 January 2019 the country with the title of selling the most expensive petrol in the world at $3,31.  As per the data published by GlobalPetrolPrices.com, we overtook Hong Kong, which sold its petrol for $2.06. This defies common logic that the more economically developed countries sell fuel at a higher price as compared to the less developed countries.

The president in his press briefing on Saturday, announced that the "government has decided on the following corrective measures". From this statement a plethora of questions can be raised. In their research as in those who advise him including the critical ministries such as finance, transport and energy, was this a well thought move underpinned by thorough research and consultation. Would the intended action address the numerous challenges bedevilling the economy? The supposed fuel hike, in what way was in going to improve fuel supply and get rid of the lengthy queues across the country which zimbos jokingly claim to have been reaching 22km at one service station.
 
The necessary measures were said to make the fuel business "viable" again. The queues first emerged in late September in the country and since, they had becomes a common feature. It boggles the mind when even to date queues still are the order of the day. Did the move have the desired effect? Does it qualify to be part of the list of the countless failed government measures? as common sense detects, sudden fuel increase equates to rampant inflation, indirectly, it all but triggers hyperinflation.

For the fuel shortages as is always the case, the government came up with a glut of explanations and reasons for the crisis. These ranged from the unfathomable lies to those that underlined sheer lack of common sense. Forex shortages was by far the most acceptable cause of the shortages but again at first the government through its responsible ministries denied this notion. The vehement denial was based on their claim of sufficiently supplying the fuel sector with the required foreign currency weekly to meet the national demand. Then it became public knowledge that the state was facing foreign currency shortages, so the next explanation was the hoarding of fuel by foreigners. Our neighbouring countries were said to be having fuel dealers who were purchasing from the country to supply to their home country. The supposed reason was that in the SADC region, Zimbabwe had the cheapest fuel. With informed reasoning, this is actually an ill informed claim. Botswana boasts of the cheapest $0,76 per litre, $1.15 in Mozambique R 16.03 for South Africa and Zambia the most expensive at $1,71.  So for the aforementioned excuse, these do not hold water at all.

All in all,  every Zimbabwean wonders. What is the reasoning behind the shortages, where are we headed as a nation where will the solutions come from, is Zimbabwe importing fuel from another planet…

 WHEN A SOLUTION SEEMS NOT AN ANSWER.


- Davis Chitiyo

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