The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has announced that it has ceased licensing new players who want to engage in the business of importing fuel into the country.
A Press release by ZERA said, “The public is notified that the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) will not be accepting any new applications for the procurement of fuel into the country. Any change to this position will be communicated appropriately.”
Fuel licenses are issued under section 30 of the Petroleum Act which says: (1) Subject to such terms and conditions as the Authority may fix in the licence, a procurement licence shall authorise the licensee to purchase fuel for the purpose of reselling it in bulk to one or more licensees. (2) A procurement licensee shall sell petroleum products in an open, transparent and competitive manner unless the circumstances require otherwise or the Authority allows or requires an alternative method of sale.
The decision by ZERA comes at a time when the nation is experiencing an acute fuel shortage due to lack of foreign currency for the energy companies to import the precious liquid.
The government in February set up a Foreign Currency allocation committee to allocate Forex to business so that they will be able to import goods from outside the country.
Recently there were additional import disruptions due to #CycloneIdai damage at the port of Beira which risks exacerbating the country’s ongoing fuel shortages and thwart the government’s attempts to stabilize the economy.