Long winding fuel queues have resurfaced in Bulawayo as fuel supplies to most fuelling stations in the city have dwindled in the last few weeks.
The fuel situation had improved at the beginning of the month as the long winding queues which had become a permanent feature in the city disappearing.
However, the fuel shortages might be back with a survey done by CITE showing that most garages in the city had no fuel.
Motorists say they are concerned with the lack of fuel supplies at a time when demand for the commodity is on the increase as the busy festive season beckons.
“I was coming from Pumula, yesterday and in all garages I was passing by there was no petrol, when I got to town I had to queue for three hours to get it,” said Providence Moyo, a motorist.
“If only the government could provide a quick solution to this it would solve a lot of problems for us.”
Another motorist, Rodwin Ndlovu said he hopes the situation will improve before the festive season begins.
“If we continue spending long hours like these in queues, we will end up celebrating Christmas on the road without our families,” he said.
Fuel attendants who spoke to this publication confirmed that fuel supplies have been dwindling in the past few weeks.
Total garage supervisor, Mr Ncube said all their garages in the city have been receiving normal supplies.
“As from Saturday, all Total garages have been receiving normal deliveries but other players like Zuva, Puma, Flo have not been receiving fuel and their customers have been coming to us,” said Ncube.
“Total garages have been overwhelmed because of this and if the other players do not receive their normal allocation things can get worse.”
Flo garage fuel attendant Mthambokazulu Khumalo said fuel supply challenges were mainly caused by lack of foreign currency to purchase the precious liquid from suppliers.
“The shortage of fuel has to do with forex shortages because the fuel we get we have to go through RBZ to acquire foreign currency,” said Khumalo.
“When we buy fuel we go through RBZ whose duty is to allocate us an amount in foreign currency then we buy fuel from the supplier in foreign currency.”
He added: Even if we have an excess of bond notes they are useless because we can’t use them to buy fuel.”
In an earlier interview, Energy and Power Development minister Jorum Gumbo assured the nation that government will ensure there are adequate fuel supplies during the festive season.
“As we go into the festive season, there is enough fuel, what we need to look for is just forex. We have requested RBZ to bring it up to about $35 million a week from $20 million because the price of fuel on the international market keeps going up and down,” he told a local publication.