The government's price monitoring task forces are reported to be forcing many businesses to reduce their prices beyond the levels stipulated by the new law published last Friday. Shops around the country lost billions on Thursday as the price monitors allowed mobs of shoppers to empty the shelves within hours, buying products at prices made up on the spot. Public transport is also in crisis. According to the state press police in Harare impounded 49 commuter omnibuses and arrested their drivers for overcharging. They are being held at Mbare police station. Our sources in Bulawayo said minibus operators went on a wildcat strike Thursday protesting the reduced fares which they say do not cover their costs for fuel and parts.
Even the state run ZUPCO buses are reported to have stopped operations.
The state run newspapers reported that at least 1 768 business people have been arrested countrywide and 1 328 companies have appeared in court since the government ordered price reductions two weeks ago. They have been ordered to pay fines ranging from Z$70 million to Z$100 million. The deepening crisis has raised fears in South Africa, where the umbrella labour and business unions expressed deep concern for the people in Zimbabwe and the threat to South African businesses....