The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) says fuel price increases and current shortages of the commodity are a result of oil price adjustments on the international market, and the new formula of calculating duty.

This was revealed by ZERA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eddington Mazambani when he gave oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy and Power Development in Harare this Thursday.

On fuel availability, Mr Mazambani said the situation has been worsened by the reduced number of oil companies collecting stocks from Mabvuku and Msasa depots in order to assess the impact of the new customs duty regime introduced by treasury last week.

He also raised concern over lack of punitive legal instruments to deal with errant service stations that are pegging prices in United States dollars.

Asked on the electricity situation, Mr Mazambani said imports are the only escape route to deal with the electricity challenges.

It also emerged that fuel and electricity charges remain cheaper in United States dollar terms in Zimbabwe as compared to other countries, but have to be kept affordable to cushion customers.