There is currently a severe shortage of LP gas in Harare and other urban areas including Bulawayo, Gweru, Mutare and Masvingo. This has resulted in official resellers like Zuva Petroleum running out and people having to resort to the black market. While officially the price of LP Gas should be no more than US$1.78 or $1 133.05 ZWL according to ZERA’s latest prices, the reality is now completely different on the ground. While resellers have adhered to ZERA’s price caps in the past most sellers are now selling at prices as high as US$2.80 per kg.

During our latest survey we found out the following:

  • Most official sellers like Zuva, Total and other large distributors claimed to be completely out of gas. It seems attendants at some of these service stations now have agreements with black market sellers where they only sell to them in return for kickbacks
  • All the black market dealers we came across were selling at prices of US$2.40 per KG of LP Gas or above with U$2.80 being the highest price.
  • All dealers we met, flatly rejected RTGS although some were happy to take ZWL cash at a steep rate of $1000:1 USD ZWL.
  • Most sellers blamed ZESA’s severe power cuts for the spike in demand and therefore prices. Most neighbourhoods are now experiencing 18 hours without power.
  • Some households are now resorting to using firewood which is selling at $0.50 per four medium-sized logs. As they cannot afford or find gas
  • Even at these high prices, LP Gas is in short supply in a lot of households.

ZERA has not yet commented on the LP Gas situation. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that the shortages are a result of a spike in demand brought about by the increase in load-shedding. A lot of households are now essentially living without power which goes in the morning and comes at night. LP Gas was the natural alternative but it seems Energy companies had not anticipated the spike in demand and therefore do not have enough in stock to meet demand. Given past patterns supply will only improve in a couple of weeks.

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