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Zimbabwe government official dismisses rumours of fuel shortage

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- The Zimbabwean government on Thursday dismissed reports that the country is running out of fuel stocks, saying it had adequate fuel supplies to meet local demand, state news agency New Ziana reported.

The rumors have been circulating on social media, alleging that fuel stocks in Zimbabwe would soon dry up.

Permanent Secretary for Energy and Power Development Patson Mbiriri rebutted the rumors, saying the country had more fuel than it required despite a drop in imports in recent months.

"We have adequate stocks of fuel in the country and we will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary measures to ensure continuous fuel supplies," he said.

He said the decrease in fuel imports was due to reduced demand by bulk fuel buyers that include industry and the mining sector.

"It does not point to a shortage," he added.

On daily basis, Zimbabwe needs about 2.5 million liters of diesel and 1.5 million liters of petrol but these figures have been going down, Mbiriri said.

At least 90 percent of the country’s fuel is brought in by pipeline, with the remaining 10 percent moved by road and rail.

Zimbabwe recently introduced tight import controls to curtail the country’s huge import bill against low exports, a situation government has said is also causing current cash shortages in the economy.


China releases funds for Zimbabwe new parliament building

HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) -- China has released an initial tranche of 46 million U.S. dollars for the construction of a new parliament building in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, a Zimbabwe official has said.

"The Chinese government has released 46 million dollars for the new parliament building in Mt. Hampden and right now work has started on road construction and we hope that after two and half years the new parliament will have been completed," Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday.

China has pledged to construct the building for free. The new 650-seat parliament building will replace the current one that was said to be too small for parliamentary business.

The speaker said space shortages in the current parliament building, constructed during the colonial era, were forcing many legislators to conduct business while standing in aisles.

"The current parliament that we are using can only cater for 120 people but now we have more than 270 legislators, so there is a serious shortage of space in the House," he said.

The new parliament building is being built in Mt. Hampden, 18 km northwest of Harare and the site for a proposed new and modern city to replace the current capital.


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