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Zimbabwe: Charging of Fuel in Us Dollars Riles Motorists

Motorists here have expressed concern over service stations which are charging for fuel in US dollars only despite a directive from Government that they should accept all forms of payment.

A survey carried out by The Herald showed that Flo Petroleum and Zuva had pegged their product at US$1,20 per litre with the former refusing payments in RTGS dollars as an alternative.

Zuva however still has fuel priced in local currency although it is not readily available like that which is sold in forex.

Motorists interviewed by this reporter said they could not afford to buy fuel in forex which was forcing them to park their cars in favour of public transport.

"These service stations are refusing payment in EcoCash or swipe, they are only accepting US dollars.

"I cannot afford that because I do not earn in foreign currency. I would rather use public transport because the money I am forced to fork out in US dollars to fill my tank is too much," said Mr John Muunga from Chikanga.

Another motorist, Ms Jane Sithole said the prices were becoming too high when using the black market rate since they were not accessing US dollars at the interbank rates.

"If I am to buy this fuel, I will need to change my money on the black market and the rates are just ridiculous.

"The fuel becomes more expensive at the end of the day and I simply cannot afford it," she said.

Fuel attendants who spoke on condition of anonymity said the pegging of fuel in US dollar was a way of cushioning themselves from the import bill.

"We are using foreign currency to bring in the fuel so we find it difficult to use RTGS when pegging our prices.

"I cannot say much but the economic situation is forcing us to do this," said an attendant at Flo petroleum.

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