Queues for maize meal, hand sanitizer and gas were expected after President Mnangagwa announced a 21-day lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, however, shoppers have been spotted panic buying a strange commodity- fuel.
Less than 24 hours after the lockdown announcement, motorists thronged fuel stations in a panic frenzy. Fuel stations are experiencing queues stretching several kilometres with a motorist waiting in line for an average of 6 hours.
“I’ve been in a fuel queue since 5 am and now it’s 11 am,” posted a Twitter user who’d been in line for over 7 hours. “Woke up pre-dawn to sit in a fuel queue. Finished at 7 am” twitted another user who was celebrating after successfully getting some petrol.
While many consumers are celebrating small victories today, filling up your tank at a time when the world is experiencing a coronavirus pandemic seems strange and unusual. The lockdown should imply that citizens will spend less time on the road and more time confined in their homes.
So what will this fuel be used for? It is still a phenomenon and a perfect example of how a market can act irrationally during panic mode.