Zim on knife-edge as fuel prices dou­ble

The Mercury - - NATION -

Zim­babwe’s pres­i­dent has more than dou­bled the price of fuel, hop­ing the in­crease will end se­vere short­ages that are fu­elling pub­lic anger even as he de­parts on a for­eign trip in search of in­vest­ment.

At a press con­fer­ence on Satur­day night, Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa said the in­crease in the state-con­trolled price of fuel should ease the short­ages that have gripped the coun­try. The pres­i­dent left Zim­babwe yes­ter­day on a trip that will end with his at­ten­dance at the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum meet­ing in Davos, Switzer­land, an­ger­ing crit­ics who say he should stay at home to deal with the cri­sis.

The fuel short­ages high­light that Zim­babwe is bat­tling its worst eco­nomic cri­sis in a decade due to a se­vere short­age of for­eign cur­rency.

A video on so­cial me­dia shows a long line of cars along a road­side as what ap­pears to be Mnan­gagwa’s pres­i­den­tial con­voy, es­corted by mo­tor­cy­cles, zips past.

The fuel cri­sis is just part of Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic de­cline un­der Mnan­gagwa, who briefly in­spired hope after tak­ing over from Robert Mu­gabe with the help of the mil­i­tary in Novem­ber 2017.

Mock­ing Mnan­gagwa’s cam­paign slo­gan: “Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness”, one mo­torist drew laugh­ter from oth­ers in line by shout­ing: “Zim­babwe is closed for busi­ness!”

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