At last minute Zanzibar Utilities and Regulatory Authority (ZURA) has revised downwards prices for fuel following government’s directive effective Sunday September 26.
The government ordered the agency to reduce fuel pump prices with immediate effect in response to the rising cost of living caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The local newspapers have been warning of impending fuel price increase, leading to public complaints.
Announcing the new prices, ZURA in a statement signed by its Director-General, Bihindi Nassor Khatib, said the price of petrol is now Sh2,300 per litre, down from Sh2,461, representing a 6.54 percent reduction; diesel is at Sh2,245 per litre, from Sh2,326, a 3.48 percent reduction while paraffin registered a 0.46 percent reduction, now selling at Sh1,721 from Sh1,729.
ZURA has advised all operators to sell petroleum products at prices not exceeding the maximum pump prices set.
Although ZURA was quick to blame the hike on surging international prices plus cost of transportation, a closer look at fuel cost tabulation indicates that taxes make up high percent of retail fuel prices.
Economists had warned of tougher living conditions for households in the country already pressed by the vagaries of Covid-19 should President Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi’s government reduce fuel price.
Earlier this month, ZURA and Dar es Salaam-based Gulf Bulk Petroleum Tanzania Limited (GBP) had reached an agreement on importing petroleum products in bulk.
The Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals, Suleiman Masoud Makame, said the move was intended to reduce the shortage of fuel which was hitting Zanzibar repeatedly.