February 21, 2016 - 9:20 PM EST
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Motorists Complain Over High Fuel Prices

There is outrage over failure by fuel dealers to reduce the price of fuel in line with reductions on the global market as the current local prices have remained relatively high.

Local fuel prices have continued to go down at a slow pace despite the international price of crude oil per barrel decreasing at a fast rate.

As of Friday morning, the price of crude oil per barrel stood at $27,26 -- the lowest it has ever been in decades.

Local fuel prices are averaging between $1,27 and $1,02 for petrol and diesel respectively.

Disgruntled motorists told Standardbusiness last week that fuel prices were still high.

A

Harare
motorist who only identified himself as Larry, said fuel prices were still high as compared to those prevailing in
South Africa
.

"It is strange because I just came back from

South Africa
and the price of petrol there, even with the fluctuation of the South African rand, is less than a dollar. Something needs to be done about the prices, prices are hurting us and are really eating into the budget of the family," Larry said.

Simba Chidora said it was strange to read about fuel prices going down globally but not feeling the impact locally.

"We read from the newspapers that globally, the fuel prices are going down, yet here it only takes newspapers to report that fuel is not going down in

Zimbabwe
, that's only when we tend to reduce by maybe some few cents which is very unfair to us," he said.

"I think government should make sure that whenever the fuel prices go down where they get it from, it should also correspond [with prices] here.

"We must also get to feel that fuel has gone down. But here in

Zimbabwe
we have got a very big problem.

"We never see the fuel going down significantly. Maybe it is a factor of profiteering which is a culture that has developed among us."

Regionally, countries are reviewing prices quarterly to be inline with international prices.

The average regional cost of fuel is $0,92 for petrol and $0,85 for diesel, while the average cost globally is $0,97 and $0,83 for petrol and diesel respectively.

Recently,

South Africa
reviewed its fuel prices, bringing them down to $0,74 for petrol and $0,68 for diesel (factoring in currency changes).

In December,

Zambia
reduced the price of fuel to $0,88 and $0,76 for petrol and diesel respectively.

However, in

Zimbabwe
government seems to be reviewing the prices at a snail's pace.

This has riled consumers who accuse government of getting a large chunk in taxes.

Taxes and levies constitute 42,69% and 49,38% of the prevailing prices, while FOB constitutes 34,6% and 33% of diesel and petrol respectively of the fuel pricing model.

Motorist Joe Chibi said he had to fork out $15 per day for a trip to work and back home.

He refuels at a station that sells petrol and diesel at $1,27 and $1,03 respectively.

"I stay 50km out of town. We heard that the price of fuel per barrel is going down in other places so at least we are expecting the same change here in

Zimbabwe
," he said.

Even commuter omnibus drivers are also feeling the pinch.

"I believe that prices are still high, maybe if we were to get it down to $0,70 or $0,80 for diesel and $1 for petrol, it will be fair enough," said Cordious Paradzai.

Paradzai was refuelling at a station in Msasa where diesel is sold at $1,02 per litre.

When he was told that there were some service stations that were selling fuel at a lower price, Paradzai said: "With these small fuel stations that are opening, if you put fuel, it does not last for that long."

"Maybe it is because of the quality, or maybe if you pay for one litre they give you 900ml, we do not know what is happening with these service stations," he said.

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Source: Equities.com News (February 21, 2016 - 9:20 PM EST)

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