The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has signed a deal with local petroleum giant, Sakunda Holdings, for the importation and supply of fuel in the country, Ecofin Agency informed.

Under the deal, which became effective in early December, Sakunda is to supply the country with 160m liters of fuel in order to ensure adequate supplies during the Christmas season. The agreement was set under a structured facility in which Ecobank issued a letter of credit for $24m to support Sakunda’s fuel imports, reported Zimbabwe Situation.  RBZ Governor, John Mangudya, said the central bank had agreed to the structure to ensure a smooth flow of fuel during the festive season.

RBZ sources stated: “There is currently panic stocking of fuel by motorists and many companies. Fuel importing now requires prepayment, which strains RBZ’s foreign currency. A solution was required that fuel be available during the high demand period of December. To stabilize fuel supply, Sakunda is providing 80m liters of fuel to the country this December and a similar amount in January. The fuel was made available immediately from that which Sakunda is already holding in stock.”

Zimbabwe’s daily consumption is at 2.5m liters of diesel and 1.5m liters of petrol and the country has to cautiously manage import payments.