Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
MOTORISTS should report to authorities all fuel service stations that refuse swipe and mobile money payments from motorists, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), said yesterday.
Responding to widespread complaints by motorists in Bulawayo who say they are being forced to hunt for cash by service station operators Zera spokesperson, Mr Gladman Njanji, said affected motorists should not be afraid to name and shame the culprits so that Government takes the necessary disciplinary measures.
“More often we get people who say that it’s happening here, but where exactly, we don’t want people who just make unfounded allegations. Can you state where and which specific site is actually doing whatever that you are alleging,” Mr Njanji said.
The regulator recently cracked the whip on some errant fuel service stations in Harare who were refusing electronic payments and demanding cash only.
The latest example is Maps Service Station in Harare which has been shut down as it was reportedly refusing to sell fuel to consumers without hard cash. A few weeks back two other operators in Harare had their licences withdrawn for refusing to take other payment methods, which are not cash.
This has been received as good news in Bulawayo where affected motorists implored Government to also discipline concerned operators in the city.
Motorists who spoke to this newspaper yesterday said several service stations in the city were also denying them service when they do not have cash.
The trend is usually rampant during night hours to early morning and this includes service stations in the central business district and western surbubs, they said.
Among those named were Zuva Mac’s Garage, Engen Mzilikazi, Bulawayo Service Station, Nketa 6 Puma branch, Trek and West End Service Station. Motorists said the concerned service stations pretend that there is no network to justify their demands for cash. Motorists say this illegal act has spread to such an extent that some service stations are suspected to be behind the illegal fuel sales on the streets. — @pridesinstinctz