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07 Sep 2004 11:35
A chronic fuel shortage that has crippled Zimbabwe for the last three days will end “within 48 hours,” the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said on Tuesday.
The bank’s governor, Gideon Gono, said $10-million had been released to pay for desperately needed fuel already in Zimbabwe, but held in bond by oil companies.
He said 12,4-million litres of diesel and 13,2-million litres of petrol would be released to filling stations within the next two days.
“We are not saying we are out of the woods yet in terms of the availability of foreign currency. We have to be realistic,” Gono told reporters.
Zimbabwe uses about $30-million (about R198-million) worth of fuel each month, making it southern Africa’s biggest consumer after South Africa’s Gauteng province.
Zimbabwe has seen periodic and often lengthy fuel shortages for the last four years as the country reels under 360% inflation and rising unemployment.
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