By Tafadzwa Muranganwa
The prevailing fuel crisis has been the biggest spoiler for the festive season with Zimbabweans living outside the country being the hardest hit.
During the festive season, sights of cars emblazoned with foreign number plates especially from South Africa are common but a survey by this Radio VOP reveals that this festive season the numbers are low.
A haulage truck driver based in Mpumalanga , South Africa who usually visits his rural area in Honde Valley told Radio VOP that this festive season he decided not to come because of the prevailing fuel shortages.
“I used to drive from Mpumalanga to my rural area Honde but after I heard of the fuel shortages I felt there was no need for me to risk coming there because I maybe stark after the holidays so I will be sending money for the family back home,” said Noah Madziro.
But for Robert Domboka who is a lecturer at Eden University in Zambia, he is home sick and going to leave his car and opt for long distance buses .
“I cannot afford to miss this festive season to unite with my friends and relatives in Mutasa because it has been long eand since the fuel crisis is persisting I will ignore the convenience of driving and catch the bus from Lusaka to Harare,” revealed Domboka.
Faustina Nyazenga who has a cousin in Australia who every year comes back home confided to this reporter that owing to the fuel shortages her cousin send them money to purchase the fuel in advance but it has been a nightmare.
“I have a cousin who is in Australia and visits us every year.
“After learning of the fuel crisis, he had to send us money to purchase the fuel in advance since we will be visiting many places but it has been energy-sapping for us and we might fail to acquire the 100 litres we want because of the continuous queues,” she said.
Also not spared from the fuel crisis are motorists living in the country who wanted to travel to their rural homesteads as some resort to using public transport, cut on the number of places to visit and not travel at all during the festive season.
Tawanda Jaricha of Murehwa is in a fix as he needs to travel to his rural family home and also to his wife’s rural area in Chipinge during the holidays but because of fuel he may be able to only travel to Murehwa.
“Right now I don’t know whether I should travel because over the years I have been able to go to both my parents and my in-laws houses during the festive holidays but now I have fuel that can take me to and from Murehwa only because with the prevailing shortages it’s not guaranteed that I will be able re-fuel for Chipinge,” predicted Jaricha.
While the government has maintained that it has enough fuel stocks,the lengthy queues at fuel stations are now a common sight.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) provides foreign currency to fuel importers every week, initially the central government allocated $US20 million per week but has since increased the weekly allocation to $US35 million as the demand for fuel continue to grows.