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Minister says walk to save fuel

Pindai Dube

THE Minister of Energy and Power Development Mike Nyambuya said motorists should get used to being pedestrians to save the scarce drops of fuel availabl

e in the country.

Speaking at the official opening of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) service station in Matshobana on Wednesday, Nyambuya said motorists should adjust to being pedestrians as the supply of fuel was not improving.

“The country is facing critical fuel shortages and as government, we encourage all Zimbabweans to reduce the number of cars on the country’s roads and walk to save the scarce fuel we have,” Nyambuya said.

Analysts said Nyambuya’s statement was an admission that government was failing to find a lasting solution to the country’s fuel problems which started in 1999.

Nyambuya said the new Noczim service station had the capacity to hold 55 000 litres of petrol, 55 000 litres of diesel and 10 000 litres of paraffin.

“In most developed countries, especially in Western countries company executives wearing expensive suits use public transport or walk to work but here in Zimbabwe one person wants to have 10 cars on the road each day,” Nyambuya said.

Zimbabwe has been facing serious fuel shortages on the formal market after the government in June gave the cash-strapped Noczim a monopoly to import fuel after the imposition of a freeze on prices.

The Energy minister said his ministry is pursuing the development of alternative fuel sources like bio-diesel from jatropha and the blending of petrol with ethanol to ease fuel shortages.

In Zimbabwe, ethanol is produced only by Triangle Ltd, a sugar estate in the Lowveld area of Chiredzi.

Zimbabwe consumes 3,5 million litres of diesel, three million litres of petrol and five million litres of Jet A1 daily. It needs about US$130 million a month to import fuel.

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