ZwNews Chief Correspondent
“What has come out at this supermarket? I mean what is this queuing about?” Asked a prospective shopper; soon after joining a queue, at Divaris Shopping Centre in Belvedere. “I do not know what has come up this time around, but last time it was sugar. I was just passing by, and I saw people queuing and decided to join in,” came the response.
The above conversation took place in the year 2008, at the hype of the runaway inflation, amid shortages of basic commodities including sugar, salt, bread, maize meal, cooking oil among a host others. People used to just queue wherever they find a line of people, even before learning which product is being queued for.
“It is better to just join the queue, and then desert the queue after you learnt you do not need the product being queued for,” one shopper told this reporter then.
Today, some people would laugh at this scenario saying that was then, or others would still say the idea of queuing before learning what product you are queuing for as an act motivated by sheer madness, that would be a mistaken view; as the trend is now back.
Some Zimbabwean motorists have since resorted to parking their cars in queues at filling stations even without knowledge the fuel is there, or when it would be delivered. Cars would spend days in line in anticipation of a delivery, which in some instances would never come.
One motorist had this to say; “It is better to just queue even without knowing the fuel is coming or not, because if you wait to come when the precious liquid would have been delivered, by that time the queue would have become too long.”
ZwNews.com news crew caught up with another motorist queuing at a filling station along Chiremba Road, in Hillside, Harare, who echoed the same sentiments who says the fuel situation is deteriorating, hence the return of speculative queuing.
“The return of speculative queuing is a sign of desperateness as a lot of productive time is spent in the queues and in some instances the fuel may never come at all. It is only those with links from filing stations who may know when the fuel is expected, but the rest would be speculating,” says a motorist only identified as Tapiwa.
Be that as it may, a snap survey by this publication in the streets of Harare and surrounding suburbs has uncovered some scenes of the return of speculative queuing, with a number of motorists spoken to in some queues saying they do not know when the fuel would be delivered but are just waiting in anticipation.
Fuel prices in the country have skyrocketed overnight after President Mnangagwa announced a 145% increases effective from 12 January 2019.
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