By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister, Magna Mudyiwa has claimed that the Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) are backtracking on providing information needed to unmask fuel cartels in Zimbabwe.
Mudyiwa said this while responding to a question raised by Senator Chief Chikwaka real name Witness Bungu on why fuel companies were selling fuel in US$ when they get funds from the auction.
Mudyiwa said her Ministry always has a problem of getting information on who received money, what date and to look into their sales from the Ministry of Finance and RBZ.
“What I observed is that a lot of companies that are getting money from the auction floor are selling in foreign currency. And that is why fuel that is sold in local currency or EcoCash is now scarce.
“We are still carrying out investigations into the matter to establish who is getting the money at the auction rate and selling fuel in US dollars.
“We can get that information from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe but if we do not receive that information, we are not in a position to identify who has received the money using the inter-bank rate.
“The matter is still under investigation so that we can come up with an informed position. Companies such as CMED and PetroTrade are the places where fuel is obtainable in local currency.
“Once the information is made available we will name and shame such companies that are doing this practice as what the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe did, they named and shamed the abuse of foreign currency by some companies,” he said.
Chief Chikwaka followed up with a supplementary question: “It would appear as if such companies are operating from Mozambique. Yet they are here in our country and RBZ is here.
“The culprits are known, so there is nothing to investigate.
“Such companies have been given foreign currency at the auction-rate to buy fuel. And the Minister responsible for arresting is here, where is the problem really?” he asked.
But Mudyiwa said the Finance Ministry and RBZ were actually delaying investigations by not providing names of the culprits.
“We have always had this problem of getting information on who received money, what date and to look into their sales. The information is with the Ministry of Finance.
“We wrote to them requesting adequate information. If we do not receive that information, it becomes difficult to verify when and how much they received and to also look into their sales,” she said. Nehanda Radio