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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Zimbabwe voices: Lovemore
Man pushes cart past queue for petrol
Motorists have to endure long queues for petrol - or use the black market

Zimbabwe is in economic meltdown, with the world's highest rate of inflation of 1,000% and chronic unemployment. Here Lovemore, 32, explains how he started to sell petrol on the black market.

I used to play soccer but I could not survive with football so I had to find a job.

It is difficult in Zimbabwe and I saw people couldn't survive.

I saw people could only buy petrol on the black market because all the petrol stations had run out.

So I started going to get petrol from farmers because it was cheaper there because the government supplied farmers with fuel.

Some of the farmers get more fuel than they use.

I take the petrol back to Harare and then I sell it for a better price.

I have nowhere to stay. I sleep under the bed of my mother
I sell it for double or triple the normal price on the black market.

But it's hard because the police are after you.

My wife now goes to Botswana to buy goods there like cell phones, clothes and then she goes back again and comes back.

Now you need about 20m Zimbabwe dollars ($198) a month to survive here - not including rent.

If you include rent, transport and whatever, oh my God, you can't calculate it.

But then if you go to work you don't get paid 20m, they pay you 7m.

You need food at work, breakfast, lunch, supper, so I think the black market is better to survive in Zimbabwe.

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