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Panic-buying, hoarding continue in Zim amid hyperinflation fears

In one supermarket in northern Harare Wednesday morning, customers had packed their trollies with beer, bottled water, bread and other groceries.

FILE: A picture shows empty shelves, including those for bread, in a grocery store in Harare on 9 October 2018, as Zimbabwe is experiencing renewed shortages. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Panic-buying and hoarding are continuing in Zimbabwe, a day after Vice President Kembo Mohadi threatened to take what he called "stern measures" against people charging inflated prices for goods.

The situation deteriorated after the authorities announced new measures last week aimed at reviving the economy, which include a statement that deposits in most local bank accounts are no longer officially recognised as US dollars.

In one supermarket in northern Harare on Wednesday morning, customers had packed their trollies with beer, bottled water, bread and other groceries.

In some shops, basics like rice, cooking oil and salt had already run out.

Meanwhile, long queues of cars are snaking outside service stations with fuel.

On Tuesday, Mohadi warned that people hoarding goods would face stern measures.

And he said service stations and shops found hiking the prices of fuel and goods would have their operating licences cancelled.

Worried Zimbabweans are fearful of a repeat of 2008 when hyperinflation wiped out savings and caused chronic shortages of food, fuel and cash.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)