Petrol, Diesel Prices Go Up in Zimbabwe As Cash Crunch Grips Nation

Photo: Reuters

 

The Zimbabwean government on Saturday hiked fuel prices amid serious shortages of petrol and diesel in the country.

Announcing the price increases, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said customers were expected to use multiple currencies, including the troubled bond note, to purchase the precious liquid.

“With effect from midnight tonight, a fuel pump price of $3.11 per litre for diesel and $3.31 per litre for petrol will come into effect. These prices are predicated on the ruling official exchange rate of 1:1 between the bond note and the US dollar and also on the need to keep fuel retailers viable.”

Diesel cost $1.38 and petrol $1.43 a litre before Mnangagwa announced the new price increases.

Mnangagwa said the government won’t allow businesses to trigger a new round of price increases.

He claimed that some Zimbabweans were taking advantage of the fuel crisis in the country to cause instability.

“Such politically-motivated activities will not be tolerated,” he said.

Six people were gunned down by the Zimbabwe National Army in August last year following protests over delays in announcing results of the July presidential election won by Mnangagwa.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change led by Nelson Chamisa challenged the results of the poll in court but lost with the Constitutional Court citing insufficient evidence of voter fraud.

The country has been recording significant economic decline following the harmonized elections with price hikes and shortages of various commodities becoming the order of the day.

Civil servants are threatening to go on strike over low pay amid disgruntlements over the same issue by doctors, who downed tools for 40 days, and also demanding improved working conditions.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube says plans are underway to introduce Zimbabwe’s own currency. The local dollar was abandoned in 2009 following historic hyperinflationary figures between 2005 and 2008.

In another development, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reports that chief Harare magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office. The newspaper quoted police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba as saying that Guvamombe was scheduled to appear in court Sunday.

Guvamombe allegedly offered work-related attachments to two former Cabinet ministers and current law students at the University of Zimbabwe, Saviour Kasukuwere and Supa Mandiwanzira.

The two are linked to a Zanu PF faction known as Generation 40, which allegedly wanted former first lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband.

The plan was scuttled by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces which seized key state institutions in November 2017 leading to the removal of Robert Mugabe from power.

Source :

VOA Zimbabwe

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