BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 14 June, 2001, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Anger at Zimbabwe price rises
Queues for fuel in Zimbabwe
Petrol shortages are a way of life in Zimbabwe
Trade unions in Zimbabwe have threatened to organise a national strike if the government does not reverse its decision to increase fuel prices by 70% by Saturday.


I don't know if I'll be able to stay in business

Taxi driver
Bus companies increased commuter fares by an equivalent amount on Thursday, raising fears of unrest as the economy starts to feel the impact of the increases.

"This is terrible news. I don't think it has sunk in yet, but when people realise it there will be trouble," taxi driver Martin Jambwa told AP news agency.

< "I don't know if I'll be able to stay in business."

Time bomb

The Zimbabwe Confederation of Trade Unions criticised the rises, saying that workers were bearing the brunt of poor management and corruption in the national oil company.

New fuel prices (per litre)
Petrol up 74% to $1.38

Aviation fuel up 82% to $1.03

Diesel up 67% to $1.20
"It is a time bomb," said ZCTU spokesman Collen Gwiyo.

The inflation rate is expected to rise as are the prices of all basic commodities, such as maize-meal - a staple of the Zimbabwean diet - bread and milk.

The price of fuel had been frozen since October last year, when a 15% increase was announced.

Increases in bread and other staples at that time sparked off days of rioting in the densely populated suburbs of Harare.

Impact

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries chief economist Farai Zizou said that although the price rise was in line with inflation, which runs at about 70%, it jeopardised companies involved in transporting goods, especially exports.

They say that at least 400 businesses have already closed down this year as operating costs have soared

Zimbabwe has suffered crippling fuel shortages since 1999.

The government says the price rise is needed to bring in more money so it can continue to pay for the rising cost of imported fuel.

Long queues at petrol stations are commonplace as drivers wait for scarce fuel deliveries.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

24 Apr 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe farmers urge devaluation
08 Mar 01 | Europe
'Critical' IMF talks in Zimbabwe
10 Jun 01 | Africa
Farm invasion threatens business
14 Mar 01 | Africa
Sun sets on Zimbabwe tourism
27 Feb 01 | Africa
Sore feet for Harare commuters
13 Jun 01 | Africa
Fuel prices surge in Zimbabwe
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories