Zimbabwe petrol prices hiked up by almost 150% in 2019

Zimbabwe petrol pricesInflation in April rose to over 75%.

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by Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Zimbabwe on Tuesday announced a fresh increase in fuel prices, months after a price hike triggered nationwide protests and a brutal security crackdown as the country’s economic woes deepen further.

Upping prices by about 46%, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said petrol would cost 4.97 a litre in the local RTGS dollar currency ($1.42/1.27 euro) and diesel would cost 4.89 RTGS dollars.

Zimbabwe petrol prices embattle consumers

RTGS dollars are a local electronic currency introduced as Zimbabwe struggles with a shortage of the US dollar notes that have recently functioned as its national currency.

ZERA said the move followed new measures by the central bank removing a subsidy and a preferable exchange rate for fuel importers.

“Operators may sell petroleum products at prices below the cap,” ZERA acting CEO Edinton Mazambani said.

In January, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a more than 100% increase in fuel prices to tackle supply shortages as huge queues formed outside garages.

Fuel hikes near 150% in 2019

The price increase sparked nationwide protests which left at least 17 people dead after soldiers opened fire.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been on a downturn for years with cash shortages, high unemployment and a scarcity of basic staples like bread and cooking oil.

Mnangagwa, who took power when long-time leader Robert Mugabe was ousted in 2017, has vowed to attract investment and create jobs, with little success.

Inflation in April rose to over 75%.

Zimbabwe plans to re-introduce a local currency within a year after using the US dollar since its hyperinflation crisis a decade ago.

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