Fuel crisis spoils Christmas and New Year cheers…‘Diasporans’ closed out

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.