Anger as Mnangagwa raises fuel prices in Zimbabwe

Lester Mason
January 14, 2019

Riot police tried to quell demonstrations in the western suburbs of Emakhandeni and Luveve, firing warning shots and tear gas, but the protesters remained defiant.

The visits will consolidate and solidify the engagement processes that the President has outlined as the focus of Zimbabwe in the Second Republic while also providing an opportunity to transform the excellent political ties into mutually beneficial economic ties.

In Belarus, President Mnangagwa will focus on mining and agricultural equipment, having already agreed to cooperate in those areas and Zimbabwe is already benefitting from mining equipment and cooperation in the energy sector.

"Guests of Government by way of foreign missions and other registered foreign bodies, and tourists will fuel and refuel at designated points at the price of $1.24 (R17.16) per litre for diesel and $2.32 (R32.10) per litre for petrol, upon production of proper identification documents", he noted in his statement. Workers' trade unions have called for a three-day nationwide shutdown in protest.

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.

"We believe this crisis requires all hands on the deck". Because of a severe shortage of foreign exchange, most daily transactions are done in bond notes with the U.S. dollar and South African rand trading on the black market at inflated rates.

"We are not going anywhere with these piecemeal solutions that are not solutions".

Riot police have fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators in the capital Harare.

A shopping complex in neighbouring Entumbane was looted with people carrying out crates of food and drinks and bottles of cooking oil while police battled to stop them from entering the shops.

Although the government was not expecting further price increases, most economists and business executives told Business Report that the fuel price hike would have knock-on effects on prices, with businesses passing on the costs to consumers.

In Bulawayo's city centre, people marched to the court and disrupted proceedings.

The commuter fares have doubled due to the price rise since Saturday's announcement while some businesses shut their doors to protect stocks from potential looters.

"Cognisant of the need to prevent generalised price increases for goods and services in the country, with the attendant hardships which that will entail especially to the commuting workforce, the government has made a decision to grant a rebate to all registered business entities in manufacturing, mining, commerce, agriculture and transport sectors", he said.

Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said: "We have a national crisis which is descending into a humanitarian crisis".

Early on Monday Mnangagwa set off on a five-nation tour which starts in Russian Federation and ends at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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