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Wave of Price Hikes as ZimDollar Plummets

The local currency is now trading between $1,800 and $2,100 to the greenback on the black market against the official rate of $1,021

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A NEW wave of price hikes, triggered by the plummeting local currency on the parallel market, has thrown many consumers off balance.

As of yesterday, the local currency was trading between $1,800 and $2,100 to the greenback on the black market against the official rate of $1,021.

The majority of workers earn in local currency, which they have to sell on the black market to obtain the greenback to make purchases. The US dollar is hardly available on the official market.

A snap survey yesterday revealed that prices of basic commodities have significantly shot up since the weekend, with retailers pegging their products at double the official exchange rate.

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  • A 2kg packet of brown sugar is now retailing for $4 264 (US$3, 28) from $3 280, while
  • a standard loaf is now pegged at $1 430 (US$1,10) from $1 200 and
  • a 2kg packet of rice is now costing $11 199 from $6 199.
  • A 1kg packet of Cremora powdered milk is now $6 000 (US$4,60) from $4 600;
  • a 2 litre bottle of Mazoe juice is now $5 100 (US$3,90) from $3 900, while
  • a 2-litre cooking oil bottle is now costing $5 850 (US$4,50) from $4 500.
  • a 10kg bag of mealie meal was selling for almost $10 000 (US$7,6) from $7 600.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Japhet Moyo said that workers were in “trouble” because their salaries could no longer match the galloping prices.

“The salary that is coming in RTGS is wiped away. For instance, the $90 000 you were getting last week as your pay, you were able to pick maybe six items at a supermarket now you can’t get the same products. The worker is in hard times.”

Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader Obert Masaraure said workers deserved US dollar salaries to make ends meet.

“To protect the workers and the majority of our working people, the economy should be fully dollarised.

Teachers are demanding US$1 260. At present, they are earning US$250 on top of their local salary component of at least $160 000 to $200 000. Masaraure said:

“The local currency is only being used to steal from hardworking workers, but the elite are transacting in US dollars. The local currency is being maintained to punish workers. Workers are demand US dollar salaries.


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