HARARE – Government has explained the recent price hikes and fuel shortages and according to Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Tsitsi Muzenda they were neither artificial nor a deliberate attempt to fuel discontent on the ZANU PF regime as President Robert Mugabe argued.
By Leopold Munhende
Speaking in senate on Thursday, Muzenda explained that the price hikes were in response to the tiff between fuel producers and retailers who were failing to service a $120 million debt due to lack of foreign currency.
“Oil producers had refused to supply retailers with fuel as a result of a $120 million debt they were failing to pay and this leaked to the public via social media leading to the recent hikes and shortages.
“However, things were talked over and the issue was resolved,” said Muzenda.
This is in contrast to Mugabe’s argument that the shortages and hikes which were reminiscent of 2008 were deliberate.
Zimbabweans woke up to a shortage of basic commodities and fuel recently leading to panic buying as fears of the tough 2008 era rose.
Coming from a bilateral meeting with his South African counterpart, President Mugabe accused members of his ruling party of instigating ‘artificial’ shortages and price hikes of basic commodities and fuel as a way of encouraging people to rise up against his continued stay in power.
“We have knowledge that there are individuals who want chaos to prevail so that people rise up against our government. Surely how can we how can we be short of cash and fuel within such a short period.
“Do not worry, there are rascals amongst us but that problem will be solved,” said Mugabe on his return from South Africa.
Muzenda was responding to Senator Monica Mutsvangwa’s inquiry on whether or not her ministry was ready for a similar incident and how they were preparing for it.