To try to curb inflation, President Robert Mugabe's government forced businesses to freeze prices. Anyone who failed to obey was arrested.
To avoid jail, some boarded up their shops and pasted a 'closed for renovation' sign on the door.
With the price cuts in place, producers could not break even, never mind make a profit, and so cut production.
So the price slashes have only added to people's daily struggle – shop shelves are now empty and queues must be joined just to buy basic goods.