Artificial Fuel Price Hike
by Paul Ndlovu
VICTORIA FALLS - The recent fuel hike caused an artificial fuel shortage in Matabeleland recently, with Victoria Falls being the worst affected area.
Fuel shortages are hindering tour operators in the area, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Manager for Victoria Falls, Patty Kateketa, has said. The mining town of Hwange is also experiencing difficulties with many service stations running dry.
In an interview early this week, Kateketa said almost all the service stations in the resort town had run out of fuel.
Fuel shortages have been blamed on the rise in prices by between six and eight per cent last week. This was after stocks dropped drastically as demand rose in European countries due to the onset of the winter season.
Just before the festive season last year, local fuel dealers increased the price of petrol and diesel by an average eight per cent citing an increase in crude oil prices. Domestic supplies dwindled towards the festive season culminating in unjustified price adjustments as demand outstripped supply.
At the weekend the price of diesel had risen from US$1, 25 per litre to between US$1, 30 and US$1, 40 while petrol was selling between US$1, 40 and US$1, 49 from US$1, and 35 per litre.