24 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Panic Buying, Fuel Queues Resurface in Zimbabwe

Fuel queues resurfaced in the Zimbabwe capital Harare on Saturday, for the first time in years, and there were reports of panic buying by shoppers fearing shortages.

In one Harare suburb News24 visited two service stations where there was no fuel, while a third station was dispensing diesel to a queue of trucks and SUVs.

Fuel limits

Customers were being limited to just $30 of diesel if they used their debit cards: any more than that had to be paid for in hard cash or local bond notes.

Meanwhile, Harare residents shared Whatsapp pictures of customers at some stores stocking up on basic commodities like cooking oil.

But central bank chief John Mangudya dismissed news of imminent shortages as "fake news".

"There are no shortages of basic commodities," he said in a statement. "On the contrary, foreign exchange currently being allocated for basic and essential commodities has instead been increased to ensure that shortages of commodities do not occur within the economy."

Anger and fear

"Please don't tell us not to panic. The value of money held in the bank is falling. There's uncertainty, inflation and broken trust," aspiring independent MP Fadzayi Mahere wrote on Twitter.

There are fears of a repeat of Zimbabwe's 2007-2008 crisis, that saw hyper-inflation wipe out savings and empty shop shelves.

Prices of some goods are already increasing. Retailers say this is because they have to buy scarce foreign currency on the black market to restock.

'Can we afford not to panic?'

Zimbabwe uses the US dollar, but US dollars have mostly disappeared from circulation. Bond notes, introduced last November to ease cash shortages, are also in short supply.

A supermarket in Harare's Mount Pleasant suburb was issuing just two dollars as cash-back to customers on Saturday morning, but had stopped doing this by the afternoon.

"Can we afford to not panic?" asked Zimbabwean @TichRay on Twitter. "Can we afford to trust the monetary & fiscal authorities? Isn't there precedence to justify our panicking?"

Source: News24


Cholera Cases Continue Declining

Cases of suspected cholera are beginning to decline in Harare following massive interventions put in place by the… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2017 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.