Zimbabwe nearly doubles bread price as economic woes mount
“Bread has now become a luxury. How many people can afford it at this rate?” said Sarah Chisvo, a mother of three who was picking up groceries in a supermarket in central Harare.
“The government needs to do something before this gets out of hand.”
In February, faced with acute shortages of U.S. dollars, Zimbabwe introduced a new currency, called the Real Time Gross Settlement dollar.
The RTGS has been losing value ever since, forcing companies to increase prices.
On Tuesday, the RTGS dollar was trading at 3.19 to the dollar on the interbank market and 5 on the black market.
That means a loaf of bread costs about 70 U.S. cents a loaf, in a country where the average income is around 4 dollars a day.
Bread is the most consumed staple after maize meal, and the increase follows that of other products like cooking oil, sugar and milk.
While prices of basic goods continue to spike, salaries have largely remained unchanged, increasing public anger against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Zimbabwe is suffering from the twin effects of drought and a cyclone that wrecked the eastern parts of the country.
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