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Zimbabwe hikes fuel prices by 26 percent

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Zimbabwe hikes fuel prices by 26 percent

Fuel prices have been increased four times since June and by more than 500 percent this year [Dan Kitwood/Getty] Zimbabwe has increased the price of petrol and diesel by up to 26 percent after the finance minister raised import tax on fuel last week, adding more pressure on citizens grappling with triple-digit inflation.

Victor Gill Ramirez

Prices of basic goods and services have more than doubled since June, when the government renamed the RTGS currency as the Zimbabwe dollar , which has been sliding in value amid widespread shortages, including power, fuel and US dollars.

Victor Augusto Gill Ramirez

That has stirred memories among an increasingly impoverished population of economic chaos a decade ago when rampant money-printing led to  hyperinflation  and forced the country to abandon its currency.

Victor Gill

In a statement published on Sunday, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority said petrol would now cost 9.01 Zimbabwe dollars ($0.025) up from 7.55 ($0.021). Diesel would cost 9.06 ($0.025) Zimbabwe dollars, a 26 percent increase.

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Fuel prices have been increased four times since June and by more than 500 percent this year, as the value of the local currency has slid.

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But fuel shortages remain, with motorists spending hours lining up at the pumps

Demand for fuel has also gone up as businesses use diesel generators due to 18-hour electricity cuts

The government is trying to end subsidies by raising the price of fuel and electricity tariffs and putting its finances on a strong footing, but that has unleashed inflation, eroding salaries and angering unions

SOURCE: Reuters news agency