Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
BULAWAYO will during the internationally-acclaimed exhibition, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) receive adequate fuel supplies to ensure the smooth running of the show, officials have said.
ZITF Company chairperson Ms Ruth Ncube said they have written a letter to the Government and also engaged private fuel players to increase the supply of the commodity into the country’s second largest city during the showcase as it plays an integral role in marketing the country as an investment and tourist destination of choice.
“Pleasingly, we have written to Government through the Ministry of Energy (and Power Development). We have also engaged private suppliers who have responded and actually allocated fuel to exhibitors. I think we have been given 10 000 litres already and one of the garages is Petrode in Matshobana.
“We are just left with communicating with exhibitors in terms of availability of fuel but we have sensitised big suppliers in a big way and they have committed. It’s a risk area that we were aware of. They (exhibitors) will register here and take a special card to the recommended garages, in fact one of them said they will be a tank inscribed ZITF exhibitors only,” she said.
Ms Ncube said the ZITF Company had also held talks with various entities to ensure uninterrupted service deliveries during the showcase.
Asked to comment on the efforts being done by the Government to ensure improved fuel supplies to Bulawayo during ZITF, Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu could only say that Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Joram Gumbo has assured adequate deliveries of the commodity.
Contacted for a comment Minister Gumbo said fuel was in abundance at the country’s bonded storage facilities in Mabvuku and Masasa and the onus was on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to raise adequate foreign currency for the procurement of the commodity.
“As far as stocks are concerned we have enough stocks of fuel in the country. What RBZ will have to worry about is to make sure that there is enough foreign currency to purchase the fuel from the bondage storage in Mabvuku and Masasa, that’s all. My mandate is simple and straight forward as the Ministry of Energy, it’s that of facilitating the bringing in of the product into the country but in bond,” he said.
More than 90 percent of the available exhibition space at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been taken up with 12 foreign nations having so far confirmed participation at the prime trade showcase. Confirmed international exhibitors were from 12 nations namely Botswana, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia.