Huge Zimbabwe fuel price hike; foreigners to pay in forex

Zimbabwe economic crisis Fuel price hike national strike and a new currency

FIVE people reportedly died while 24 others were injured as police clashed with protesters across the country yesterday as anger over the worsening economic crisis spilled onto the streets with business, warning government that "the house is burning".

Witnesses also reported violence in the eastern city of Mutare, where people attacked passenger buses and destroyed some shops.

"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 chose to grant a rebate to all registered business entities in manufacturing, mining, commerce, agriculture and transport sectors", he said.

The president's announcement came after fuel shortages which began in October past year worsened in recent weeks with motorists sometimes spending nights in fuel pump queues that stretch for kilometres.

The main office of Zimbabwe's opposition party, MDC, has been torched following protests sparked by the doubling of the fuel price. In a report ZBC said, "The President and his delegation touched down to snowy weather at Vnukovo Airport in the Russian capital and was received by the Russian Federation's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of the Africa and the Middle East Region Mr Boganov Mikhail Leonidovich and a military guard of honour".

"In the past, people have managed to survive but now they can't". There are already acute shortages of imported goods and soaring inflation for basic foodstuffs.

The president has also promised a clean break from the repressive regime of his long-time predecessor Robert Mugabe, who was forced out in a de facto coup in November 2017.

Protester Takura Gomba in Warren Park said: "We are suffering.

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If there is a way, he must return today and solve this", Rice said.

"It's time to mobilise every person who truly loves Zimbabwe".

"We have warned this government that there is need for dialogue and ... nothing has happened".

Can Mnangagwa even be called a president?

Although the 2018 elections were not marred by the type of violence experienced under Mugabe, alleged irregularities during the count and repression after the vote resulted in lukewarm support for Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF from major global powers.

The country abandoned its own currency in 2009 after it was wrecked by hyperinflation and adopted the dollar and other currencies, such as sterling and the South African rand.

But now there is not enough hard currency to back up more than $10 billion in electronic funds trapped in local bank accounts, prompting demands from businesses and civil servants for cash that can be deposited and used to make payments.

Ncube on Friday told a town-hall meeting in the affluent Borrowdale suburb in the capital that the country could expect to have a new currency within a year.

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