Banned kombis in Harare are reportedly filling up fuel at service stations to fuel the soaring black market amid prevalent winding queues.
This is against the background of a ban on privately owned commuter omnibuses from operating in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local tabloid H-Metro established that some kombi’s are queueing for diesel being sold for $20.84 per litre at several filling stations and then sell the commodity on the black market at US$1.20 per litre which is equivalent to a parallel market value of almost $100.
Sources allege that filling stations staff are conniving with the banned operators and other dealers in fuelling the black market.
Desperate motorists are often told that fuel is out of stock and will have to go for the exorbitant black market fuel sold around the filling stations.
Meanwhile, some kombi operators are removing seats to allow space for stoking up products and other entrepreneurial undertakings.
A Warren Park 1 welder who identified himself as Clint said some kombis are flocking to his work station to remove seats.
“I have seen a number of kombis here and most of them are getting the seats removed so that they can do other things.
“I ask them why they are removing the seats and some don’t say anything but obviously there are other things to do out there since they are not allowed to operate in this lockdown phase,” he said.
A kombi driver who preferred anonymity said he has resorted to private hiring jobs following the ban. “Ndizvo zvatakutoita, tangoita zviripo. “Kutobvisa ma seats kuratidza kuti panenge paine ma gap aripo,” he said.
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