Fuel rationing returns

HARARE - Zimbabwean filling stations were extending fuel rationing on Monday in response to an acute fuel shortage that has crippled public transport and prevented many Heroes Holiday family reunions.
Oil industry sources said emergency imports were flowing in to ease the crisis, but shortages

were still serious and thousands of motorists and people who had travelled to their rural homes for the holiday were stranded in towns across Zimbabwe.
Government admitted failing to ensure adequate fuel supplies for thousands of people to travel over the Heroes period.
Long and winding queues of cars formed at a few petrol stations that had the scarce commodity in the capital on Sunday while the majority went dry.
“I have to admit that the situation is bad,” Mike Nyambuya, minister of energy, told state radio.
Even burials had had to be postponed because mortuaries were running out of fuel for their hearses.
But Nyambuya said on Sunday that Zimbabwe’s state oil procurement monopoly NOCZIM had released nearly three million litres of petrol onto the market on Saturday and Sunday.
He said another 1.9 million litres would hit the streets on Monday and Tuesday, and that NOCZIM would go on importing fuel to ease the fuel shortage.
But industry officials have said the fresh supplies are too scanty to cover Zimbabwe’s needs, let alone an outbreak of panic buying, and nobody believes ministerial promises any more.
In the capital Harare, about a dozen filling stations had fuel on Monday and bus stations were choked with commuters looking for transport to their rural homes. Despite promises by the government last week that it had acquired supplies to ease the shortages over the Heroes holidays, petrol remained critically scarce in Harare, selling for up to Z$750 000 a litre.- Gift Phiri

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