Zimbabwe increases petrol prices by more than 25%

Zimbabwe increases petrol prices by more than 25%

The price of petrol went up again in Zimbabwe on Sunday, this time by more than 25 percent, the latest blow in a country battling out-of-control inflation.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority (ZERA) announced the price of diesel would immediately rise to 16.64 Zimbabwe dollars (about US$1), while petrol would go up to 14.97 Zimbabwe dollars.

At those prices, a full tank of petrol costs more than a month’s salary for a cook or a maintenance worker, and more than half a month’s salary for a doctor.

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) condemned the move in a tweet Sunday.

The government was piling more misery on to already suffering Zimbabweans, MDC said. “Surely this madness must stop.”

Already in January, the government almost tripled petrol prices and has regularly increased the prices since then.

The January announcement sparked violent protests that were put down by the security forces. When troops opened fire on the demonstrators they killed 17 people and wounded dozens more.

Zimbabwe, once known as the bread basket of southern Africa, has been trapped in an financial and economic crisis for nearly two decades now.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe after he was forced from power at the end of 2017, has promised to revive the economy, but so far without results.

Zimbabwe is shackled by a devalued currency, mass unemployment, runaway inflation and shortages of essential items including petrol, electricity and water.

According to the International Monetary Fund, prices had risen by nearly 300 percent year-on-year in August. Analysts at the Bloomberg agency put inflation at 900 percent.

On Tuesday, tickets for the state bus company Supco doubled in price to one Zimbabwe dollar. – AFP