Motorists, transporters, farmers and the business community in Nyanga have called on the authorities to revoke licences of fuel service operators in the resort town who are hoarding fuel for resell at the parallel market and illegal export to other countries.
The motorists said they witness frequent supplies of fuel to the service stations but are dismayed by some operators who refuse to sell the fuel to locals at the official pumps and supply it to the black market.
They said such business practices are not only illegal but tantamount to sabotage at a time when the government is striving to resuscitate the economy by supporting fuel dealers with the scarce foreign currency.
It is alleged that only a few motorists are sold fuel at the official pump during the day and the rest is hoarded and filled in drums in the middle of the night for illicit trade, allegedly to the nearby Mozambique market.
Motorists called on the authorities to address the issue of prepaid account services as this was also being abused by service stations.
“It is very unfair that the reserve bank supports fuel suppliers with foreign currency but some operators cash in on the public and demand cash only and feed the black market. It is saddening, they deny us electronic money payments so that they get cash to resell on the illegal market. There is a network of illegal activities,” a transporter, Mr Bernhard Bore said.
“These are the people behind the illegal foreign currency dealings too,” he added.
Another motorist, Mrs Grace Nyamakanga called on the government to revoke licences of selfish business operators as they are working against the spirit of Zimbabwe is open for business.
One of the service station operators told the ZBC News that they were carrying out some tests at the pumps and could not say when they were going to normalise their operations. Another service station operator refused to talk to the press.
Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) Acting CEO, Mr Eddington Mazambani said prompt investigations were underway and those found disregarding the law will have their licences revoked immediately.
A member of the Joint Operations Committee in the district revealed that they now have a list of suspects, adding that arrests are imminent.
Nyanga now has several black market points where fuel is selling at $6 per litre against the recommended prices of $1, 38 per litre for petrol and $1, 34 for diesel.