Zim­babwe be­ing buf­feted by its worst cri­sis

Arab News - - Business News - AFP Harare

A Zim­bab­wean shop­per in a Harare su­per­mar­ket shook his head, grum­bling as he re­turned a loaf of bread to a rack after find­ing the price had jumped by a third and he could no longer af­ford it.

Nearby, a more than a kilo­me­ter­long queue of cars waited for petrol at an empty fuel sta­tion in the hope it would re­ceive a de­liv­ery. Zim­babwe is be­ing buf­feted by its worst eco­nomic cri­sis in over a decade, in­clud­ing scarcity of ba­sics like fuel and corn­meal.

Prices of ba­sic goods gal­lop ev­ery week as the value of the Zim­bab­wean dol­lar con­tin­ues to tum­ble, push­ing of­fi­cial an­nual in­fla­tion to 785.6 per­cent in April.

Poverty is deep­en­ing among the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion — UN aid agen­cies say some 7.7 mil­lion

HIGH­LIGHTS

On Wed­nes­day, the price of fuel in the coun­try soared by up to 152 per­cent.

Prices of ba­sic goods gal­lop ev­ery week as the value of the Zim­bab­wean dol­lar con­tin­ues to tum­ble, push­ing of­fi­cial an­nual in­fla­tion to 785.6 per­cent in April.

peo­ple, or half of the pop­u­la­tion, re­quire food as­sis­tance.

A loaf of bread went up 36 per­cent last month and last week a 10-kilo sack of corn­meal jumped 30 per­cent.

On Wed­nes­day, the price of fuel soared by up to 152 per­cent. A sim­i­lar rise in Jan­uary 2019 sparked coun­try­wide demon­stra­tions in which at least 17 peo­ple were killed. “Things can­not con­tinue this way. These peo­ple should just ad­mit they have failed,” said Harare res­i­dent Ti­mothy Bhau­reni, re­fer­ring to Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa’s gov­ern­ment. Mnan­gagwa, who took power in 2017 fol­low­ing a mil­i­tary coup pledg­ing to re­vive the mori­bund econ­omy, now blames the eco­nomic malaise on un­named “po­lit­i­cal de­trac­tors.”

“We are wit­ness­ing a re­lent­less at­tack on our cur­rency and the econ­omy in gen­eral through ex­or­bi­tant pric­ing mod­els,” Mnan­gagwa told his ZANU-PF party’s polit­buro on June 10.

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