ZIMBABWE INCREASES FUEL PRICES AS ECONOMIC CRISIS DEEPENS

Aruba, May 23, 2019 – The latest fuel price increase comes four months after similar rise triggered protests and deadly security crackdown.

Zimbabwe has announced a fresh increase in fuel prices, four months after a price hike triggered nationwide protests and a brutal security crackdown.

Increasing prices by about 46 percent on Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said petrol would cost 4.97 a litre in the local RTGS dollar currency ($1.42/1.27 euro) and diesel would cost 4.89 RTGS dollars.

RTGS dollars are a local electronic currency introduced as Zimbabwe struggles with a shortage of the US dollar notes that have recently functioned as its national currency.

ZERA said the move followed new measures by the central bank removing a subsidy and a preferable exchange rate for fuel importers.

“Operators may sell petroleum products at prices below the cap,” said ZERA’s acting CEO Eddington Mazambani.

The latest price increase had been expected. It followed a 150 percent fuel price hike in January, which sparked violent street protests and led to the death of at least 17 people after a harsh security crackdown.

The Reserve Bank had been under pressure to remove the fuel subsidy, with economists saying some fuel companies were accessing cheap foreign currency and selling it on the black market instead of importing fuel.

Read more here.

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