Zimbabwe arrests over price curbs

Basic goods disappear as businesses defy government price controls.

    Goods such as cooking oil, maize meal, salt and sugar have vanished from shop shelves in Harare [AFP]

    Obert Mpofu, Zimbabwe's industry minister, ordered businesses to halve the prices of goods and services in a bid to curb inflation which is sprialling above 4,500 per cent, but the announcement has been widely ignored.
      
    Production stopped

    Many manufacturers say the government-set prices mean they cannot cover their costs and have stopped production, leading to wide-spread shortages of basic goods such as cooking oil, maize meal, sugar and salt.

    Economic analysts have predicted that the items will resurface on the black market at even higher prices.

    Oliver Mandipaka, police spokeman, told the official Herald newspaper on Monday that a wider crackdown on business people and black market vendors was planned.

    "We will continue to arrest anyone who will defy the government imposed controls on basic food comodities. We will not stop until there is order in the business community," he said.

    On Saturday, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change opposition party, called the price controls and subsequent crackdown "crooked economics" and "an election gimmick" ahead polls due to be held next year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    The peace games: Dreaming big for South Sudan's youth

    A relatively new independence and fresh waves of conflict inspire a South Sudanese refugee to build antiwar video games.