Zimbabweans brace for worst, as fuel price increases

By Varaidzo Zhakata
JUST a few hours after the country implemented the weekly foreign currency auction, Zimbabweans’ fears have been confirmed, as the recent fuel price increase is set to trigger a vicious cycle of an upward price review from various service providers.
The country’s fuel prices have increased by approximately 150 percent (%), in the aftermath of communication by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority (ZERA) confirming removal of the fixed exchange rate that was put forth in March this year.
The new price regime will see motorists forking out ZWL$71.62 (US$1.28) for a liter of petrol from the previous ZWL$28.96, while diesel is now pegged at ZWL$62.77 (US$1.09) from ZWL$24.93.
The increase comes amid speculation that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is considering removing subsidies on fuel.
This has become a trend, if not a cycle, that the general populace has become a victim of as fuel price increase usually causes a rise in the prices of basic commodities.
In January, last year, the economy was hit by a sharp rise in fuel prices and other basic commodities, leading to violent protests that claimed several lives.
Zimbabwe is on the ropes, not just because of Coronavirus, but also, with worrying economic and political crises that have left half of the country’s population struggling to feed itself.
Zimbabwe is already going through a decade long economic crisis that is characterized by high inflation, and a shortage of foreign currency and medical supplies, as well as, rampant corruption.

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