Search

 

Cablegate: Fuel Crisis Intensifies

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000873

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/S
NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER
USDOC FOR 2037 DIEMOND
PASS USTR FLORIZELLE LISER
TREASURY FOR ED BARBER AND C WILKINSON
STATE PASS USAID FOR MARJORIE COPSON

E. O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EPET PGOV EINV ETRD ZI
SUBJECT: Fuel Crisis Intensifies

1. (U) Summary: Zimbabwe's fuel supply continues to
worsen. Most motorists are grounded, importing their own
or buying it at exorbitant black market prices. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) Even though the GOZ has increased the leaded
fuel price 6-fold since February, it is still unable to
pay a diminished subsidy of around 25 percent. Official
fuel imports have dwindled to a trickle. The Caltex
(ChevronTexaco) rep responsible for Harare told us he has
been receiving 20-25,000 liters/day, while one of his 20
stations could easily sell 100,000 liters. Some
Zimbabweans now leave cars 2 weeks in fuel lines. At the
same time, there is a burgeoning black market for fuel,
with prices presently around US$.85 and occasionally
reaching US$ 1.40 per liter - 3-to-5 times the official
price.

3. (SBU) The Caltex rep claimed the GOZ's latest scheme -
still unannounced - will limit motorists to 30 liters per
"fill-up." While this will not add to the country's fuel
supply, it will spread it more broadly. It will also
make it possible for service stations that receive a
delivery of, say, 5,000 liters to count off the 167 cars
in line that will get their share, then inform the other
drivers that they are out-of-luck. (Many Zimbabweans are
frustrated spending hours/days in fuel lines only to
watch the pump run dry just before their turn.
Occasionally, violence ensues.) The 30-liter limit will
also prevent drivers from outfitting cars with ultra-
expanded tanks. (The Caltex rep witnessed one small
truck with a 600-liter tank - quite an engineering feat!)

Comment
-------
4. (SBU) Flummoxed Zimbabweans don't seem to have a clue
why they are paying Z$ 1200-2000 for the same liter that
cost Z$ 74 as recently as November when Libya was giving
it away. Locals who earn Z$150,000 (US$100)/month and
consider themselves solidly middle-class are just
beginning to realize they lack the wherewithal to own
cars, even use public transport in excess. The speed of
their downward mobility is dizzying.

Sullivan

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Climate: UN Chief Lauds ‘day Of Hope’ As US Officially Rejoins Paris Climate Accord

The official return of the United States to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change represents good news for the country and the world, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Friday during a virtual event to mark the occasion. The US, under ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>