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Zimbabwe energy regulator warns dealers
against creating artificial fuel shortages

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has warned fuel dealers against creating artificial shortages by limiting supplies or hoarding for speculative purposes.

In a statement issued on Thursday, ZERA also warned the dealers that they risked having their licenses revoked if they sold fuel at prices beyond stipulated ones.

The stipulated price for petrol is 1.41 U.S. dollars.

“Petroleum licensees are hereby warned to cease and desist from such criminal activities as they risk prosecution and cancellation of their licenses. ZERA’s compliance officers are on the ground assessing the situation,” the authority said.

The country has been experiencing erratic fuel supplies for several weeks now because of foreign currency shortages, with motorists enduring long queues at filling stations.

ZERA also discouraged the use of fuel containers, saying that this increased chances of contamination and subsequent damage to motor engines.

Its warning came as the government on Wednesday denied that it had banned the use of containers such as jerry cans for fuel transportation.

The government said it had noted that there were genuine cases where people used containers for onward use but warned people against hoarding the commodity for resale on the black market.

Energy and Power Development Minister Joram Gumbo said the fuel supply situation is improving but remains constrained.

“The nation is assured that (the) government is doing its best to ensure continued supply of fuel throughout the country and, therefore, there is no need for hoarding and panic-buying.

“My ministry notes that there are genuine cases of legitimate customers that include command agriculture and other farmers, owners of grinding mills, schools and hospitals that require fuel for their generators and many other uses, who out of necessity, have to uplift fuel in containers,” he said.

Zimbabwe has a daily consumption of 2.5 million liters of diesel and 1.5 million liters of petrol.



Zimbabwe’s ruling party sets dates for annual conference

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF has tentatively set Dec. 11-16 as dates for its 17th Annual National People’s Conference, to be held in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province, with 5,000 delegates expected to attend.

The dates will be confirmed by the party’s highest decision-making body outside congress, the Politburo, at its next meeting.

Party secretary for administration Obert Mpofu said that the party had activated its sub-committees which are coordinating with key stakeholders so that the conference is a success, state newspaper The Herald reported Tuesday.

The party holds annual conferences four years in a row at which it looks at the state of affairs within its ranks and in government and decides on policies on issues that affect the populace.

The annual conferences are then followed by elective congresses in the fifth year.


New EU ambassador to Zimbabwe begins tour
of duty and pledges support for reforms

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The European Union’s new ambassador to Zimbabwe, Timo Olkkonen, began his tour of duty on Thursday after he presented his credentials to President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the State House.

He pledged the EU’s readiness to work with Zimbabwean authorities as they implemented political and economic reforms.

“I am honored and excited to start my tour of duty as the European Union’s head of Delegation to the Republic of Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe stands at a crucial juncture and I am looking forward for the country to take back its rightful place in the region, in Africa and in the world,” he said.

Olkkonen said the EU would continue to provide support as the two partners developed political, economic and trade relations.

“The EU stands ready to assist and accompany Zimbabwe as the country moves forward to implement much needed political and economic reforms,” he said.

He takes over from Philippe van Damme.


Zimbabwe vice president  back home after
receiving medical treatment in South Africa

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean vice president Constantino Chiwenga returned home Tuesday from neighboring South Africa where he had gone to seek medical treatment, the Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.

Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said Chiwenga and his wife Mary, who had also gone for a medical review, returned back home in high spirits but indicated that the couple would require time to recover.

Both Chiwenga and his wife were among scores of senior government officials that were affected by the bomb that exploded at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s campaign rally in Bulawayo ahead of the July 30 elections.

Charamba said Chiwenga did not immediately seek thorough medical examination due to pressing commitments associated with the election campaign and the formation of a new government soon after the polls.

The couple traveled to South Africa last week.

“Obviously the couple needs time to rally again. The president spoke to the couple this evening (Tuesday) and is set to visit them at their home tomorrow (Wednesday),” Charamba said.

He also clarified social media reports alleging that Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo had traveled to South Africa for medical treatment, saying he only went there Tuesday for a medical review after being treated at a local hospital in Harare.

“He (Moyo) is expected back in a day’s time. It is understood that he had two operations meant to remove some growth in the stomach,” Charamba said.

Chiwenga led the military intervention which toppled former president Robert Mugabe in November last year while Moyo is a former military man who announced on television the military intervention.



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