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The Fuel queues have reappeared in Zimbabwe capital as seen on Saturday, for the first time in nearly 5 years, and there were reports of panic buying by shoppers fearing shortages.
Techunzipped visited a number service stations where there was no fuel, while only three stations were dispensing diesel to a queue of trucks and SUVs.
This development was despite the central bank claiming that they had increased foreign currency allocation for fuel imports from $7 million to $10 million weekly.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya on Saturday assured the public that there will be no shortage of basic commodities as Harare residents moved to stock up amid fears of further loss of bond notes’ value.
Currency rates on the black market have also skyrocketed, with $100 now selling for $150 or more for an electronic transfer.
Mangudya said, “fake news” was fuelling panic buying which would result in empty shelves at supermarkets.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe wishes to advise the public that social media messages that are circulating and suggesting that there are going to be shortages of basic commodities in Zimbabwe are false and malicious,” the governor said in a statement.
“These messages are meant to cause anxiety, panic, alarm, and despondency to the unsuspecting and peace-loving members of the public. All such false and malicious statements should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. Peddling of such fake news is quite unfortunate. There are no shortages of basic commodities in Zimbabwe.” He said.
Meanwhile, Customers at fuel station which had fuel were being forced to buy just $30 of diesel if they used their debit cards and those who wanted more had to use hard cash.
Other shoppers in Harare where stocking up on basic commodities like cooking oil, in fear of a recurrence of the 2007-2008 crisis, that saw hyper-inflation wipe out savings and empty shop shelves.
Prices of some goods have already increasing increased and cooking oil is now selling around $385-$4.25. Retailers say this is because they have to buy scarce foreign currency on the black market to restock. Retailers have taken the cost in their prices and passed on that burden to the consumers, which is always the case, it’s the ordinary consumer who suffers.
The introduction of bond notes has not helped, but, instead, a parallel currency market has emerged, with different values for the US dollar and bond notes.
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the “mysticism” from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you’re likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.