Tenants Celebrate As ZACC Targets Landlords Demanding USD Rentals

ZACC Targets Landlords Demanding USD Rentals

ZACC Targets Landlords Demanding USD Rentals

ZACC Targets Landlords Demanding USD Rentals
ZACC Targets Landlords Demanding USD Rentals

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has revealed that it is now targetting landlords who are demanding USD rentals for their properties. The anti-graft has advised tenants of landlords who are demanding rentals in United States Dollars or any other foreign currency for that matter to report their landlords at the nearest police stations or at ZACC’s offices.

ZACC said the practice of demanding rentals in foreign currency was against the country’s laws and needed to be stopped. ZACC spokesperson Mr John Makamure told the Sunday News,

“What is happening is that we are working with the police in monitoring this therefore we encourage members of the public to either approach our officials or their nearest police station. As you might know, Zacc and the police are more of one entity in fighting such corrupt elements, worse still when there is a specific law that criminalises such acts,” said Mr Makamure.

This follows reports that landlords across the country are demanding rentals in foreign currency for both residential and business properties.

In Bulawayo landlords in the high-density suburbs are charging 100 Rand for a room while some charge US$50 for a five-roomed house. In the low-density suburbs, landlords charge between US$200 and US$400 per month for a three-bedroomed house.

In Gweru houses in Mkoba are going for about US$100 per month.

Students from Midlands State University (MSU) who rent in Senga are made to pay US$50 per head and a landlord rakes in as much as US$500 for an average house in the high-density suburb.

In Gwanda, landlords prefer to charge in Rand and houses are pegged between R200 and R2 000 per month.


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    Mthuli Establishes Currency Stabilisation Task Force As Zimbabwe Dollar Plummets

    Mthuli Ncube

    Mthuli Establishes Currency Stabilisation Task Force

    Mthuli Ncube

     

    Minister Of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube has announced that the government is establishing a “Currency Stabilisation Task Force” in a bid to tame the ongoing currency turmoil.

    Ncube announced the development at a joint press conference which he held together with Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Panonetsa Mangudya. The Currency Stabilisation Task Force is part of the raft of new measures which the government is introducing to stabilise the local Zimbabwe Dollar and bring inflation under control. This follows a turbulent two weeks for the Zimbabwe Dollar, which saw the local currency depreciating sharply against all major currencies and falling to a startling 40 Zimbabwe Dollars for every United States Dollar.

    In announcing the Currency Stabilisation Task Force, Ncube said,

    In order to, stabilise the exchange rate and hence, to lower inflation, the Government has decided to implement a holistic package of key policy measures. In this regard, a Currency Stabilisation Task Force has been set up. This will be spearheaded by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and will include members of the MPC and PAC.

    The Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Finance and will meet at least once a week to review the conditions in the markets, monitor the behaviour of key variables such as the exchange rate and inflation, and to ensure that the measures that I outline below are expeditiously implemented. The Task Force will put in place additional policy measures, where necessary.

    ..I would like to state that as the financial authorities of the country, it is our duty to undertake a strong communications drive to explain all the measures we are introducing, and their intended outcomes. Otherwise, misinformation from the social media begins to rule the day. I can assure you that it is the determination of this Government under the strong leadership of H.E. E.D. Mnangagwa, to work closely with all stakeholders to achieve exchange rate stability, reduce inflation, and by the end of this year put in place all the necessary building blocks to achieve high rates of growth, poverty reduction, and the other goals of Vision 2030.

     

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    WATCH LIVE: Mthuli And Mangudya’s Presser As Forex Rates Shoot Up On Black Market

    Mthuli And Mangudya’s Presser As Forex Rates Shoot Up

    RBZ Speaks On Devaluing Zimbabwe Dollar

     

    Minister Of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Panonetsa Mangudya held a press briefing where they announced the measures that they are going to take to stabilise the local Zimbabwe Dollar. The press briefing came after a turbulent week for the Zimbabwe Dollar, which show saw the local currency depreciating sharply against all major currencies.

    At the time of the press conference, the rate for the Zimbabwe dollar against the United States Dollar had fallen to at least 40 Zimbabwe Dollars for every United States Dollar.

    During the press briefing, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced that Zimbabwe is going to adopt liberalize the rules for trading for Bureaux de Changes and introduce a “managed floating exchange rate system”. The Minister said,

    “Zimbabwe has had no transparent and effective forex trading system for a long time; official rates haven’t been effectively determined while a thriving parallel market has developed

    “To correct this (forex) anomaly, a Reuters trading platform is being implemented immediately. This platform will allow forex to be traded freely amongst banks and permit a true market exchange rate.”

    Ncube also announced that the government was going to form yet another taskforce. This time the government is introducing a “Currency Stabilisation Taskforce” in a bid to tame currency turmoil. The Taskforce will meet once a week to review the conditions in the markets, monitor the behaviour of key variables such as the exchange rate and inflation.  Said the Minister,

    “In order to stabilise the exchange rate and hence, to lower inflation, the Government has decided to implement a holistic package of key policy measures. In this regard, a Currency Stabilisation Task Force has been set up. This will be spear-headed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, and will include members of the MPC and PAC.”

    The Minister also announced that the government was going to implement measures to stop illegal foreign currency traders from abusing mobile money services, particularly, EcoCash.  Said the Minister,

    While mobile money platforms have made a significant contribution to facilitating trade and payments in the country, they have also become an instrument which is being used by unscrupulous businesses to illegally trade foreign exchange and undermine the economy. The RBZ is, therefore, currently reviewing all the regulations covering such platforms

     

    You can download the full press statement in PDF format on the link below:

    Download Mthuli Ncube And Mangudya’s Press Statment On Exchanges, Black Market And Interbank Rates

     

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    Econet And Netone Mobile Data Bundle Prices Compared Following Hike In Tariffs

    Econet And Netone Mobile Data Bundle Prices Compared

    Econet And Netone Mobile Data Bundle Prices Compared

    Econet And Netone Mobile Data Bundle Prices Compared
    Econet And Netone Mobile Data Bundle Prices Compared

     

    Mobile network operators Econet and NetOne have reviewed the prices of their mobile data bundle. This comes at a time when the local Zimbabwe Dollar has been sharply depreciating against foreign currency on the widely used black market.  The new mobile data prices are with effect from 11 March 2020.

    Below are the new prices for mobile data bundles being offered by the two biggest networks in the country.  The prices are only for data bundles and do not include social media bundles for applications such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram among others.

    New Prices For Mobile Data Daily Bundles

    Econet Daily Bundles

    • $7 for 40MB – 5.7MB/$1
    • $23 for 150MB – 6.5MB/$1
    • $29 for 250MB – 8.6MB/$1
    • $50 for 600MB – 12MB/$1
    • $80 for 1200MB – 15MB/$1

    NetOne Daily Bundles

    • $5 for 30MB – 6MB/$1
    • $10 for 80MB –  8MB/$1
    • $20 for 200MB – 10MB/$1
    • $30 for 480MB – 16MB/$1
    • $50 for 960MB – 19.2MB/$1
    • $60 for $1200MB – 20MB/$1

     

    New Prices For Mobile Data Weekly Bundles

    Econet Weekly Bundles

    • $4.5 for 25MB – 5.5MB/$1
    • $10 for 60MB – 6MB/$1
    • $26 for 160MB – 6.1MB/$1
    • $53 for 350MB – 6.6MB/$1
    • $100 for 700MB – 7MB/$1

    Netone Weekly Bundles

    • $5 for 28MB – 5.6MB/$1
    • $10 for 60MB – 6MB/$1
    • $25 for 160MB – 6.4MB/$1
    • $50 for 350MB – 7MB/$1
    • $95 for 700MB – 7.3MB/$1

    New Prices For Mobile Data Monthly Bundles

    NetOne Monthly Bundles

    • $40 for 220 MB – 5.5 MB/$1
    • $100 for 560 MB – 5.6 MB/$1
    • $150 for 960 MB – 6.4 MB/$1
    • $250 for 1, 760 MB – 7.04 MB/$1
    • $400 for 3, 200 MB – 8 MB/$1

    Econet Monthly Bundles

    • $45 for 220 MB – 4. 9MB/$1
    • $125 for 700 MB – 5.6MB/$1
    • $200 for 1, 150 MB – 5.75MB/$1
    • $335 for 2, 100 MB – 6.27MB/$1
    • $430 for 3, 100 MB – 7.21MB/$1

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    #DataMustFall Triumphs As Vodacom Agrees To Cut Mobile Data Prices

    Vodacom Agrees To Cut Mobile Data Prices

    Vodacom Agrees To Cut Mobile Data Prices

    Vodacom Agrees To Cut Mobile Data Prices
    Vodacom Agrees To Cut Mobile Data Prices

     

    Vodacom has reached an agreement with the country’s competition watchdog to reduce its mobile data prices.

    The agreement is likely to be seen as a victory for consumers, whose social media campaign against expensive data gained traction in 2017.

    One of the initiatives SA’s largest mobile operator will institute is cutting the cost of its 1GB monthly bundle from R149 to “no more than” R99, a 34% reduction, from April 1 2020.

    Vodacom group CEO Shameel Joosub said the operator will introduce a range of initiatives that will result in R2.7bn in additional savings for customers. “This forms part of a broader Vodacom group programme to create a social contract with its stakeholders that will address pressing societal challenges in each of the markets in which it operates,” he said.

    The agreement, which was announced at a briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday, is likely to be seen as a victory for consumers, whose social media and street campaign against expensive data gained traction in 2017 when the Competition Commission set up an inquiry into the sector.

    After two years of investigation, the Competition Commission released its data market inquiry report in December 2019.

    The commission’s final report said MTN and Vodacom had to independently reach an agreement with the regulator on substantially reducing data prices within two months of the release of the report.

    The commission said there was scope for price reductions of 30%-50%.

    Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said at the briefing that Vodacom will extend the number of zero-rated websites and services that it supports, including more than 20 specific government-related sites around services such as education and health care.

    He also said certain parts of their agreement with Vodacom will be kept confidential to protect the operator’s competitive position in the market

    The competition watchdog gave the two dominant mobile phone operators two months to slash internet connectivity prices or face prosecution.

    This deadline was subsequently extended to the start of March.

    Vodacom annual data revenue of R24bn accounts for 43% of its SA sales, according to its latest financial results.

    For MTN and Vodacom, which control about 70% of the SA mobile industry, it comes as a blow to one of their biggest profit sources as data sales constitute an important source of their revenue in SA.

    The findings have also turned the spotlight on the government’s failure to auction spectrum — a radio frequency that allows mobile phone operators to send voice and data over the airwaves — which mobile operators have long argued is vital to bring the cost of internet data down.

    At the end of 2019, the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa), the industry regulator, said that it would start auctioning spectrum for both 5G and 4G bands in the second half of 2020.

    All eyes are now on MTN and what agreement it has come to with the commission. — Sowetan

     

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    RBZ Bosses Implicated In Black Market Activities Resign As Crackdown Gets Too Hot

    RBZ Bosses Implicated In Black Market Activities Resign

    RBZ Bosses Implicated In Black Market Activities Resign
    Mirirai Chiremba one of the RBZ bosses implicated in black market activities who resigned

    In a stunning development, two senior Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) who were previously implicated in illicit black-market activities have resigned.

    Mirirai Chiremba and Norman Mataruka were part of four RBZ senior directors who were accused of corruption and involvement in the black market by Zanu-PF activist and former chairperson of the Ministry of Finance’s Communications Taskforce Acie Lumumba in October 2018. All four were later cleared of all wrongdoing by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Panonetsa Mangudya following a two-month-long investigation.  The  Acie Lumumba led Finance and Economic Development Communication Taskforce which had been appointed by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube was disbanded just three days after Lumumba’s explosive revelations.

    However, the Chiremba and Mataruka are reported to have resigned from the central bank following a crackdown by the RBZ on its employees who are suspected of involvement in foreign currency black market activities.

    Chiremba who is the director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is reported to have tendered his resignation early this month, together with Mataruka. According to sources at the central bank, the two resigned preemptively, as the investigation was getting too hot for their liking.

    Sources who spoke to online publication, the Zim Morning Post said,

    “There is an investigation on the illicit financial flows on foreign currency, and the investigation has caused Chiremba and Materuka to resign.

    “Their resignations are a strategy to evade justice but if they are found guilty, appropriate action will be taken,”

    However, the source revealed that if the investigation unearthed solid evidence that the two were into money, laundering, then their resignations would not help them to escape the course of justice.

    Efforts to get a comment from RBZ governor John Mangudya were unsuccessful at the time of writing.

    Ironically, one of the directors who resigned, Mirirai Chiremba was previously suspended by Mangudya’s predecessor, former RBZ governor Gideon Gono over similar allegations. Chiremba was suspended back in 2007 after he allegedly exposed the RBZ’s role in purchasing foreign currency on the black market. Chiremba who was responsible for raising foreign currency on the black market for the central bank was allegedly skimming some of the money by inflating the rates at which he had purchased the foreign currency. He was later cleared following an internal investigation.

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    Breaking News: Fuel Prices Go UP

    Fuel Shortage In Zimbabwe

    Fuel Prices Go UP

    Harare Fuel WhatsApp Groups Links
    Harare Fuel WhatsApp Groups Links

     

    The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has announced an increase in the price of fuels. The new fuel prices come barely a week after ZERA reviewed the prices and decreased the price of diesel saying that they were being guided by prices on the international market. The new fuel prices are effective tomorrow, Thursday 05 March 2020.

    Diesel which had gone down to ZWL17.28 has now gone up to ZWL$18.66 per litre. However, this price is still lower than the ZWL$19.55 per litre which was obtaining before last week’s review.

    Blended Petrol has gone up to ZWL$18.70 per litre from the previous ZWL$18.40 per litre.

     

    Below is the full statement from ZERA

    PRESS STATEMENT

    Fuel price review

    In accordance with the provisions of SI 270 of 2019, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has reviewed the fuel prices to ZWL $ 18.66 for diesel and ZWL $ 18.70 for blend with effect from 5 March 2020.

    The SI 270/19 requires that fuel prices be determined using the previous month’s international market prices and announcement done with effect from 5th of every month.

    This review is in line with the Petroleum Act and SI 270 of 2019.

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    Furious RBZ Responds To Reports That It Is Printing Money Secretly Again

    RBZ Responds To Reports That It Is Printing Money

    RBZ Responds To Reports That It Is Printing Money Again

    RBZ Responds To Reports That It Is Printing Money
    RBZ Responds To Reports That It Is Printing Money Again

     

    The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has dismissed reports that it is once again printing money which has resulted in the collapse of the local currency which was reintroduced last year.

    This follows an article which was published by reputable business and economic news newspaper, The Financial Times, which alleged that the Reserve Bank was responsible for the collapse of the local currency. The Financial Times alleged that the monetary authorities were printing money to subsidize gold miners to encourage them to sell their gold via the formal market.

    The Monetary authorities have issued a strongly worded statement dismissing the allegations and labelling them malicious and misleading.

    iHarare publishes the statement from the Reserve Bank in full below:

    Misleading article concerning the printing of money carried in the Financial Times edition of 28 February 2020

    The Financial Times edition of 28 February 2020 carried an article headlined. “Zimbabwe secret money printing threatens IMF assistance’, with the subtitle “Scheme to subsidise gold miners contributed to collapse of local dollar, The article stated that unnamed sources had said that the alleged “money —printing scheme was designed to incentivise gold exports but hastened a decline in the local currency,

    The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the “Bank”) wishes to advise members of the public that the article is malicious and mis.ding and the Bank dismisses the article with the contempt it deserves. The article is calculated to tarnish the image of the Bank, and ultimately that of the country and its leadership, through misinforming the public. The Banknotes, with concern, that the article seeks to fabricate an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board’s Report on the Article IV Consultation for Zimbabwe which development is quite unfortunate and disrespectful of the IMF as an institution and the Republic of Zimbabwe as a member of the IMF.

    As stated in its Monetary Policy Statement of 17 February 2020, the Bank reiterates that the growth in money supply, or more specifically reserve money in 2019, was as a result of subsidies on fuel, electricity and grain and Government expenditure. The contribution of the gold sector incentive scheme was very minimal to the growth of reserve money. It is also mischievous to allude to “secret money printing”. there is no secrecy in the of the old incentive scheme by the State, through the Bank.

    In order to ensure the continual flow of gold through the formal channels and thus mitigating the leakages and side-marketing of gold, Government, through the Bank provides incentives to the gold sector to increase foreign exchange through the interbank foreign exchange system. The gold incentive scheme, which is funded through the Budget, has not been discontinued, as alleged, in the Article. The decline of the value of the local currency was largely due to various factors including low business and consumer confidence, low production levels within the economy and the impact of macroeconomic shocks such as the drought and Cyclone Idai.

    The Bank remains committed to the implementation of the Monetary Targeting Framework under its tight monetary .ance and is targeting reserve money growth of 1°- 15% by the end of 2020. As a result of the tight monetary policy stance and .ability in the exchange rate, the month-on-month inflation for January 2020 declined to 2.230/0 from 16.56. in December 2019, and the forecast is that it will remain in the single-digit levels for the rest of the year.

    3 March 2020

     

    Unsurprisingly, the central’s banks claims seem to be falling on deaf ears.  Former finance minister and opposition politician Tendai Biti scoffed at the  RBZ’s denials saying,

     

    The frenetic attempts by the RBZ to deny its insatiable money printing zeal is as tragic as it is unacceptable. In its own February Monetary Policy Statement, it accepts broad money rose by 300% It is spending billions on quasi-fiscal activities including fuel & gold subsidies.

    Truth is the RBZ is a rogue institute that is at the epicentre of the instability of the exchange and monetary policy framework of the country. It is the largest actor on the parallel FX activities, drives fuel & gold cartels & is responsible for opaque non-concessional loans.

    With the tobacco floors opening soon, the rogue Bank will rob farmers of their FX earnings without any strong legal basis for the expropriation That FX will then be used to oil cartels such as Trafigura, FSG, Command Agriculture& many other illicit activities. RBZ should be shut

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    Here Are The Conditions For Selling Fuel In Foreign Currency In Zimbabwe

    The Conditions For Selling Fuel In Foreign Currency In Zimbabwe

    The Conditions For Selling Fuel In Foreign Currency In Zimbabwe

    The Conditions For Selling Fuel In Foreign Currency In Zimbabwe

    The government has published the requirements necessary for oil companies to meet so that they may be allowed to sell fuel in foreign currency.

    This comes after the government introduced the direct fuel imports programme which allows oil companies with their own sources of foreign currency, to import and sell fuel in foreign currency. This comes as the government tries to ameliorate the debilitating shortage of fuel which has been plaguing the nation for the past few years.

    The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority ZERA has announced that petroleum companies should submit the proposed sites where they will be selling the fuel. However, the companies will only be limited to two service stations which trade in foreign currency in both Harare and Bulawayo. In all other towns, an oil company will only be allowed to have a single site trading in foreign currency.

    Below is the notice from ZERA to all oil companies in the country,

     

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    All Fuel Sector Companies

    SELECTION OF SITES FOR DIRECT FUEL IMPORTS (DFI) AND TRADING IN FOREIGN CURRENCY

    Petroleum companies are requested to submit proposed sites to sell fuel in foreign currency procured through free funds based on the following criteria: –

    1. A maximum of two (2) sites in Harare and Bulawayo per petroleum company: and

    2. A maximum of one site in all the other towns and cities.

    Please note that selected sites will be expected to do 100% direct fuel imports (DFI). For companies that do not hold procurement licences, the submissions should include the name of the supplier of the fuel to be traded in foreign currency.

    Petroleum companies are advised to make submissions before the end of day on Tuesday, 3 March 2020.

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    This Is The Reason Why Fuel Has Gone Down In Zimbabwe

    The Reason Why Fuel Has Gone Down In Zimbabwe

    ZERA speaks on ‘fuel price hikes’

    Motorists queue to buy petrol in Harare, Zimbabwe REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo 

    The government through the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has explained why the price of fuel has gone down in the country. ZERA announced new fuel prices last Friday in which the new price of diesel went down by ZWL$2.27 from ZWL$19.55 per litre to ZWL17.28 per litre.

    ZERA announced that the reduction in the price of diesel was a result of a decrease in the price of diesel on the global market.

    The regulator said that it is now working with local oil companies to ensure that the country has an adequate supply of fuel. Zimbabwe has been plagued by a shortage of fuel for the better part of the last two years.

    ZERA also revealed that it was stepping up its surveillance efforts to ensure that people do not hoard fuel. Unsurprisingly, the government ends the statement by reiterating that people should “use fuel efficiently”.

    Below is the statement from ZERA, which iHarare is publishing in its entirety.

     

    PRESS STATEMENT
    Diesel supply

    In view of the significant decrease of the diesel price on the international market, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) met the oil marketing companies (OMCs) on 29 February 2020 and deliberated on the impact of the decrease on the local market.

    The OMCs made a commitment to continue supplying diesel to consumers at the new price.

    Zimbabwe is a net fuel importer, hence any movement on the global market has an effect on the local price.

    ZERA is working closely with OMCs to ensure the country has adequate supply.

    Surveillance on possible hoarding of fuel is being carried. The public is urged to continue using fuel efficiently.

     

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