HARARE – Zimbabwe’s fuel shortages have reached critical levels just less than two weeks before the Christmas holiday.

Long winding queues are visible at most fuel stations while most are completely empty.

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Frustrated and desperate motorists are spending long hours parked at fuel stations.

The southern African country is battling its worst economic crisis in a decade, due to a severe shortage of foreign currency to import most basic commodities like fuel.

In January this year, Zimbabwe was hit by public protests after President Emerson Mnangagwa announced fuel price increases.

Motorists have reported waiting for petrol for almost three hours at a time.

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Some motorists said they foresee a worsening situation as Christmas day approaches.

The economic decline under President Mnangagwa has frustrated many.

Mnangagwa briefly inspired hope after taking over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe with the help of the military in November 2017.