Mabasa Sasa in Moscow, Russia
The recent decision to increase the prices of petrol and diesel was necessary and the conditions demanding that pronouncement presently remain unchanged, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Addressing international media here last night, President Mnangagwa said the prior lower prices of petroleum products had made Zimbabwe attractive to external consumers who flocked into country to buy petrol and diesel cheaply.
The Head of State and Government indicated the black market currency dealings had contributed to a gross distortion of the fuel price, making it the lowest in the region.
The new retail prices are $3,31/litre (previously $1,34) for petrol and $3,11/litre (previously $1,49) for diesel.
Last night President Mnangagwa said: “The recent price increase was necessary and remains necessary. In our region, before two days ago, the price of fuel was about 60 (US) cents per litre, the lowest in the region.
“We have now brought it to the level of about US$1,30, which is the average in the region. The level of 60c per litre, even surrounding consumers of fuel would find it cheaper to come into Zimbabwe to access that fuel.
“As you are aware, we depend on hard currency (to buy fuel) which we do not produce, but (which we) earn through exports. So we have very limited capacity in acquiring hard currency. But we have enough hard currency resources for our domestic market.
“At the level at which now we have priced our fuel, it will stabilise the aspect of fuel filtering to neighbouring consumers.”
The President added that Zimbabwe was a country that was metamorphosing economically and politically, and the fruits of this would not be reaped overnight.
“You must realise that Zimbabwe is going through both political and economic reforms. These do not come easily. We have introduced austerity measures and it will take time for things to settle and results to show that this is where we must go to grow our economy and improve the lives of our people,” President Mnangagwa said.
The President has granted tax rebates to various registered businesses so that they continue to supply goods and services at old prices without having to pass on the higher cost to consumers.