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No Relief in Sight in Zimbabwe Fuel Drought

Zimbabwe’s severe fuel shortage will continue as long as authorities are unable to extract significant amounts of hard currency from the moribund economy, one of the country’s most influential economists told VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe.

In measures aimed at relieving fuel shortages which have left cars and buses stranded and kept motorists in fuel queues for weeks, Energy Minister Mike said anyone with access to foreign currency could import and sell fuel. Meanwhile, the government raised prices for agricultural and governmental consumers.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono has announced that he is assembling “a package of adjustments” to relieve the fuel drought. Economist Eric Bloch, an advisor to the central bank, said these measures may not help soon as the country needs $750 million a year to meet fuel requirements.

Speaking with reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for ZImbabwe, Mr. Bloch expressed optimism – but conceded that things look grim.

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