Fuel shortages in Zambia have been blamed on a lack of foreign exchange for letters of credit (L/Cs), but the Zambian finance minister says there is no longer an L/C shortage.

Fuel shortages, which had disappeared over the past two weeks after a month of turmoil in October, reappeared at the end of November, with many service stations running dry.

Different views

Energy minister Joram Gumbo has blamed foreign currency shortages for the lack of fuel, but this seems to be a point of view not shared with all of his ministerial colleagues.

"I am happy to say that enough L/Cs and other payment forms have been arranged for the supply of fuel", according to finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who says the main problems are logistics blockages in the supply chain.

Panic buying

Gumbo told local media that consumption had risen to four million litres of diesel and 3 million litres of petrol a day.

The energy minister also maintains that Zimbabwe has adequate fuel stocks, despite the re-emergence of queues, and blamed social media for causing panic buying by motorists.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.