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The Turbulent Liquid Fuel Industry in Zimbabwe: Options for Resolving the Crisis and Improving Supply to the Poor

Krispen Mashange

Department of Energy

Private Bag 7758

Causeway  Harare - Zimbabwe

Affiliation: Krispen Mashange is a Deputy Director with the Department of Energy Resources and Development – Zimbabwe, and an Assistant Researcher with the African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN/FWD) based in Nairobi, Kenya.


Abstract

Towards the end of the last decade, supplies petroleum fuel have been erratic to the extent that Zimbabwe has at times operated with as low as 40% of normal supplies.  These shortages were attributed mainly to foreign exchange shortages and alleged mismanagement and corruption at the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM).  As shortages intensified, problems of product shortage began to unfold, which adversely impacted on the urban poor.  The public began to question the industry’s policies on the sustainability of the liquid fuel sector policies in Zimbabwe. Of particular concern was policies regarding regulatory mechanisms, pricing, distribution, utilisation of storage facilities, supply routes and NOCZIM management. This paper evaluates the challenges facing the Zimbabwean petroleum sector and presents recommendations that could assist in ensuring a robust and functional national fuel sector.


Keywords: Liquid fuels, reforms, prices, Zimbabwe

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