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Fuel has been scarce in Manica province, central Mozambique, as a result of Cyclone Idai. Now gasoline is coming, but there are complaints that only a few have access to diesel. Meanwhile, life in general is getting more expensive.
Gasoline is once again arriving in the province of Manica after days of scarcity. It has been ferried in from other areas while the roads to Beira, the city most affected by Cyclone Idai, remained blocked.
Motorists have breathed sighs of relief. Motorcycle taxi driver Júlio José had been unable to work for days for lack of fuel. Those who had gasoline to sell almost doubled the price, he said. “There were times when we used to go to some places in the neighbourhoods and we paid 100 meticais [the equivalent of 1.40 euros] a litre.”
Now that there is gasoline again, he says he can go back to working normally.
Diesel just for some?
Diesel, however, is still scarce. And motorist Marcelino Jorge says gas stations are only selling to acquaintances or to priority vehicles belonging to the state or cooperation partners.
“In the gas stations, unless you’re someone they know, you don’t get fuel. Other garages have fuel, but they only serve the state, which has requisitions, and we don’t have access,” he says.
Manica provincial government spokesman Ronaldo Naico told reporters he hoped the situation would remedy itself soon
“All gas stations have fuel. We do not see any behaviour such as increasing fuel prices,” he said. “It is obvious that we are still receiving fuel from Quelimane and the port of Nacala, and we are hoping that conditions at the port of Beira return to normal soon. Given that there is already access to [the city of] Beira, we believe that, over the next few days, there will be no interruption to the supply of fuel.”
Although the government says there is no speculation in fuel prices as a result of Cyclone Idai, the same is not true of basic food products such as rice or wheat flour.
“The price of bread, wheat and flour have risen,” Chimoio resident Manuel Filipe says. “I woke up and went to the bakery to buy bread and found that it cost eight meticais [about 10 euro cent.] I left home without breakfast, because it would mean less bread for my family, and I have to give to my family priority.”
“Everything is just no matter what,” he complains.
Also interviewed by DW Africa, Chimoio resident Evaristo Alberto appealed to the government. “We are in a bad situation. We ask the relevant people to look into our situation.”
It is not just the price of staple foods that has increased. Cement is also more expensive. Government spokesman Ronaldo Naico warns that traders caught speculating will be liable for “seizure of goods and a fine”.
“We cannot take advantage of the weather to speculate in prices,” he warned.Source: Deutsche Welle