AS more and more businesses continue to open, its back to basics for motorists, as life in a fuel queue is slowly becoming a reality, which is being made more arduous by the sometimes corrupt fuel attendants, both in the capital and countrywide, at large.
Fuel queues had become a thing of the past during the first phase of the national lockdown amid the outbreak of the deadly bug, Covid-19, as Government moved in swiftly to curb the spread of the disease that has caused socio-economic meltdown across the globe.
A stop at one of the fuel stations in Harare by a team of The BusinessConnect journalists exposed the rot that has encroached in the sector, as motorists queued to refuel their vehicles.
While some cars were clearly being refueled, some motorists were left with eggs on the face as they were denied access due to not having customer loyal cards for the particular fuel station.
However, plenty of vehicles were refueled, despite owners not possessing the garage’s customer loyalty card.
And the catch to it? One would have to fork out a US$2 bill in order to refuel!
Periodically, a staff member who looked most like a supervisor would come out and inform queuing motorists that there was no fuel as the delivery fuel tank was expected to be on the way, but the available fuel was only for cardholders, ‘loyal customers’
So, what it entails is, fuel attendants are also making a killing at the expense of their employees, whilst pricing out innocent motorists of their right to refuel their vehicles without having to pay the attendants a kick-back.
While it is a noble idea to have a firm’s fuel cards in place, owners of these service stations should also make sure to put in place security mechanisms that protect their business from these corrupt officials, who are also prejudicing their firm.
Corruption at most fuel stations, like in most sectors of the economy is slowly becoming like a ‘norm’ in the country.
Some motorists get up early in the morning to get in a fuel queue, but others who are known to the fuel attendants and those with fat pockets do not need to get up as they know they are just going to pay the attendants to get in front of the queue, either as a card holder or staff member.
Government has put in place the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Committee, which is a noble idea.
However, this corruption watchdog should be fully empowered in order to get to the ground and witness how unscrupulous business operators are taking advantage of the general Zimbabwean.
Corruption at fuel stations is not the only form of corruption affecting Zimbabweans, there’s a myriad of illegal activities taking place in various sectors of the economy and concerted efforts are needed in this scourge is to be fully done with once and for all.
Other private firms have worked on different methods of curbing corruption, coming up with notable applications to report any corrupt activities, such as the I.C.U introduced by the Africa Innovative Trust (ATI).