Suspected smuggling of Zimbabwean fuel across the border is propelling the country’s demand to record highs, with fuel consumption  spiking by a staggering 30 percent since July this year, permanent secretary in the Finance ministry George Guvamatanga has said.


That rapid growth in appetite for fuel means the country has been forced to ramp up spending on the commodity to $4,3 million a day.

Guvamatanga said before this upsurge, government used to spend $2,5 million daily.

To deal with rising consumption, a government probe has unearthed suspicious activities in the market, amid reports of fuel finding its way through the borders for resale.

The permanent secretary explained how government was grappling with the inexplicable domestic demand growth which is limiting its ability to service markets after he arrived late for a Zimra workshop in Harare on Friday.

Guvamatanga apologised, explaining he had been locked up in a meeting discussing the ballooning fuel crisis.

“My apologies, I was held up in a meeting, attending to a crisis; the fuel crisis. I want to assure you that from next week, that problem has been resolved. Expect deliveries to start increasing from next week,” he said.

“There has been an unexplainable increase in the consumption of fuel since July by 30 percent. At first, we thought it was because of the elections and we expected a decline by August but that was not the case. The country is using $4,3 million per day for fuel consumption, compared to $2,5 million per day in August.”

Guvamantanga said this increase in fuel consumption was perplexing to government.

“There are claims of fuel being smuggled across borders; and of hoarding whereby fuel is finding its way to other places where it’s not supposed to be.

At the moment we are trying to solve the crisis and we do have the solution,” he said, without elaborating.


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