By Nqobile Tshili
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) on Saturday hiked fuel prices, a development which, the public fear, is likely to trigger price increases of other commodities.
In a statement, Zera said for Harare the maximum pump price per litre is $15,64 for diesel while blend is $14,97 from an average of $12,42 and $11,76 respectively.
It attributed the fuel price increase to factors in the international market.
“The changes in the fuel prices are due to FOB (Free on Board) price movement and revised duty regime (SI161 OF 2019). Operators may however, sell at prices below the cap depending on their trading advantages,” reads the statement.
In August, Zera announced that fuel would have different prices per area factoring in transportation costs, a development which has seen the commodity’s prices in Matabeleland region being much higher.
In Bulawayo yesterday diesel was selling for $16,01 per litre at most fuel stations while blend was being sold between $15,31 and $15,41 per litre.
Motorists and members of the public said the fuel prices were having a direct effect on prices of other goods.
A kombi driver Mr Arnold Nkomo said they last week increased fares in response to new pump price.
“We were charging $3 but you know our fares went up to $4 last week in response to the $12 pump price per litre. But with the latest fuel price increase in means we have to go back to the drawing board. But again, commuters do not seem to appreciate that we constantly have to increase fares in response to fuel prices among other factors,” said Mr Nkomo.
Mr Alexander Tsunga, a taxi driver said, it was now very difficult for them to plan considering the perpetual price hikes.
Another motorist Mr Shingirai Dube said the new fuel price means he has to fill his tank with $700, which was more than his salary.
“What it means is that my salary has not changed yet the price of fuel has gone up. The price of electricity has gone up as well, the price of LP Gas has also gone up.
“LP Gas was selling for $18 but I’ve heard it’s now selling for about $22 and above. What this really means is that basically everything would be going up or has already gone up. We can’t keep up with the prices these days,” said Mr Dube.
He said Government should come up with ways to cushion its citizens against the everchanging prices of basic commodities.
Government introduced Zupco buses that charge between $1 and $2 per trip as a way to cushion the commuting public but the buses are struggling to cope with demand. The Chronicle