BY SUCCESS MADYARAMHEPO
NEW fuel price increases effected yesterday by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) have further piled misery on the lives of the common man in the country, who are now dealing with a spike in in commuting costs and basic commodities induced by the new energy cost.
Simbarashe Sithole, a commuter in Harare’s CBD said the increase of fuel prices has led Zimbabweans to risk their lives opting to commute to and fro work cheap alternatives to public transport such as lorries and trucks.
“This situation has reached its zenith and it is now unbearable. We are now putting our lives in danger by using cheap transport such as trucks, lorries and containers, which are hazardous to our health while others have resorted to walking.”
Another commuter, Tapiwa Chiteyo said the government was dismally failing to address the fuel crisis.
“This situation clearly shows the failure and negligence of this government to curb the fuel crisis and related issues such as price instability, cash crises and shortage of drugs,” Chiteyo said.
Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors member Johannes Mabena said most commuter omnibus operators are now operating at a loss due to the unsustainable cost of fuel and commuter opting fo4r other cheaper but dangerous modes of transport.
“The fuel price increase from $9,32 to $10,32 has led us to operate at a loss, because commuters are resorting to cheap alternatives. They are failing to adjust to high public transport costs. We are now effectively having one trip per day yet we used to make six trips previously.” Mabena said.
Crossborder traders have not been spared from the vagaries of the new fuel pricing regime, as transporters a now charging their goods and cargo per kilogramme.
Crossborder trader Gift Muzambi said: “We are charged unreasonable weight and declaration fees in accordance to fuel prices. This is affecting our business as crossborder traders. We are now forced to reduce the quantity of goods we import.”
Members of the public who spoke to ZimSentinel pleaded with the government to urgently address the deteriorating economic crisis that manifest itself in cash shortages, erratic and expensive fuel supplies and shortage of basic commodities and drugs.