- Sep 1, 2000Slow news day...
Zimbabwe fuel prices up
Repeated price increases follow months of shortages
The Zimbabwean authorities have announced
massive increases in the price of fuel - just
over a month after the last price rise.
Paraffin - used by most homes for cooking and
heating - has doubled in price for the second
Diesel fuel is up by 54%, and unleaded petrol
The state-run national
oil company, Noczim,
said the price rises
were needed because
of the recent
devaluation of the
Zimbabwe dollar and
escalating prices on
the world oil market.
Our correspondent in
Harare says Zimbabwe
has the air of a
country spiralling out of
control, with new price rises announced almost
This comes despite promises by President
Robert Mugabe during June's parliamentary
election campaign to introduce sweeping price
The increase in the cost of fuel has been by
far the most dramatic.
Noczim has for years been selling petrol at
below-cost price, partly in an effort to hold
down inflation and to reduce the potential for
That policy has become unsustainable and
Zimbabweans are feeling the effects of a
sudden readjustment towards world oil market
The doubling of the
paraffin price comes
after a 130% increase
The petrol price went
up by 20% at the same
mean that in any event
all fuel is extremely
The government has yet to make an official
comment on the price rises.
Report Says Malawi Has Highest Road
Accidents in SADC
Panafrican News Agency
August 31, 2000
A report commissioned by the
Malawi's National Road Safety Council says the country has the
highest number of road accidents per year in the 14-member
Southern Africa Development Community.
The report says that of the 180,000 registered vehicles in Malawi,
at least 1,200 of them get involved in some form of an accident
or another, a percentage figure comparatively higher than that of
South Africa has at least seven million registered vehicles of
which a million are involved in accidents per year, according to
the survey carried out by a Nordic Consultancy firm, Iberinsa.
Harvey Mjojo, the council's training officer, told PANA that
between January and June Malawi has already recorded over
160 road accidents in which 200 people have died.
He noted that with these alarming statistics, an estimated 80
million US dollars is spent every year on accident-related costs.
Comparatively, the amount is higher than any money spent on
essential services like security, agriculture, justice, and water.
The costs after an accident accumulate in the form of insurance,
maintenance, funerals, and police work.
Mjojo blamed driving while drunk, over-speeding and unlicensed
drivers as major causes of accidents although he admitted the
despicable state of the country's neglected roads might be an
In a bid to slowdown these statistics, government has put in
place several measures. These include an on- the-spot 10,000
kwacha (173 US dollars) fine on all those found guilty of causing
an accident and an additional 173 dollars for anyone causing an
accident while drunk.
Transport Minister Brown Mpinganjira also said anybody found
using a mobile phone while driving will be fined 2,000 kwacha (35
dollars) on the spot.
Those fined will have their names stored in a computerised
database so that if they are fined more than twice, they risk
having their driving licences withdrawn, he said.
"We know that some of these accidents could be avoided if
drivers had both hands on the steering wheel," he added.
Meanwhile, the director of Public Prosecution, Farhad Assan,
has announced that any motorist found to have caused deaths
on the road due to carelessness, will be charged with first
degree murder, a crime that carries a death sentence.
The move comes in the wake of the death of 11 people, including
a South African tourist, when a truck full of mourners collided
with a tourist Land Rover on the outskirts of Lilongwe two weeks
The truck driver was drunk and had no driving licence.
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