Implications of fuel crisis and petrol price hike

The implications of the fuel crisis and petrol price hike in Zimbabwe

SABC News – South Africa

Wendy Mothata Wendy Mothata

14 January 2019

Image: SABC News

The price of fuel in Zimbabwe increased by 150 % over the weekend.

Political analyst, William Mpofu, has warned of the possibility of mass protests in Zimbabwe if its government fails to find a solution to the latest fuel price increase.

The price of fuel in Zimbabwe increased by 150 % over the weekend, causing outrage in the country.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the increases are aimed at addressing a shortfall caused by increased gasoline demands and rampant illegal trade.

Mpofu has described the latest development as a crisis of confidence, legitimacy and credibility in government.

“This is a crisis of confidence, legitimacy and credibility that is creating this catastrophe. The president cannot reign in corrupt officials and business moguls because they are in the same political network with them, the same business network with him. His hands are tied and he is unable to deal with the situation except continue punishing the poor masses of Zimbabwe. It is a serious political problem that needs a political solution, otherwise the economy will continue to degenerate and it could lead to a serious problem where people take to the streets and riot and the situation becomes uncontrollable,” says Mpofu.

Click links for two sets of video footage:


Video 1.

Social commentator Rejoice Ngwenya told the SABC that the situation is not sustainable and that the government has no right to get its citizens into this state. Without fuel, the economy cannot move, he said, but government is manipulating the sources of fuel.

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance party told the SABC that it was the economy is not working and the situation is untenable. He said everyone could see and feel it and that it was not sustainable. He said that the solution going forward is for dialogue: “We need people to come together, let’s dialogue the key issues.”

He said he had approached President Emmerson Mnangagwa but he was not willing to play ball.

Video 2.

In the second video, Ephert Musekiwa, the SABC News Zimbabwe Correspondent, said that the mood on the ground following the announcement was very dejected and gloomy, and that a lot of people had lost hope. He said here was no fuel and doctors had been on strike for more than 40 days. 

He said that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa, had counseled that the situation required more than just one man to solve it. He had called for dialogue with President Emmerson Mnangagwa in order to find solutions, but the president was not forthcoming.

Musekiwa said that the impact of the huge fuel price increases on people and the movement of goods was very severe.

He said the government had announced that a new currency would be introduced within 12 months. The Zimbabwe dollar collapsed in 2008.

Note: In 2008, Zimbabwe suffered the second most severe episode of hyperinflation in recorded history. Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate peaked in November 2008, reaching 89.7 sextillion (10^21) percent. 

In October 2017, Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate rose to 348%. For further information: