Zera warns fuel service stations selling in US$

By Staff reporter | 10 Aug 2019 at 19:21hrs
OVER 10 fuel service stations in Bulawayo and Zvishavane have been warned by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) to stop selling fuel in foreign currency, with Zera threatening to withdraw their licenses immediately if they do not comply.

This comes after it was alleged that the service station were selling fuel in US dollars against government regulations instituted thorough Statutory Instrument 142/2019 banning the US dollar as an instrument of trade and making the Zimbabwean dollar the sole currency.

Zera is mandated by the Energy Regulatory Authority Act to enforce the law and monitor the energy industry to protect the public from prejudice, poor quality fuel and poor infrastructure as well environmental hazards.

Zera acting chief executive officer (CEO) Eddington Mazambani, while appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Energy on Thursday, said the service stations are expected to comply by selling fuel in the local currency within seven days before the licenses are withdrawn.

"Before we couldn't enforce that we can't sell in foreign currency because we had a basket of currencies.

"In Zvishavane, we did some compliance check, I think we gave three compliance orders… in Bulawayo we have given 10 service stations compliance orders last week and they are expiring this week…

"If they continue selling in US dollars, we will withdraw their licenses because we are now using SI 142/2019 to enforce and because it is from Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), we have to bring in the police. In Bulawayo, after giving the 10, two immediately complied and started selling in RTGS, so our follow up is on the other eight and if they do not comply, then we will withdraw the licenses," he said.

Mazambani, however, said it was noted that there is a gap in the law as it bans the multi-currency system without roping in any criminal charges to the illegal use of US dollars. He said the authority had to issue licenses with conditions with which they are using to regulate pricing in local currency.

"If we don't enforce, people will charge what they want. There have to be rules and regulations of doing business. If you break, there has to be consequences. When we give you a license with conditions, we expect you to abide by the conditions and if you can't, perhaps you don't deserve the license."

Mazambani, however, said government is working on a policy and legal provisions which will allow more filling stations to sell in US dollars largely buoying organisations with free funds.



WhatsApp Newsletter

Follow us

Latest Headlines