'Dramatic' price increases in Zim *LINK*

'Dramatic' price increases in Zim *LINK*
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TNT MadDog
Sunday, May 29, 2005 11:53 am



\'Dramatic\' price increases in Zim
28/05/2005 18:32 - (SA)
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Michael Hartnack

Harare - Zimbabwe imposed dramatic price increases for certain staple food products on Saturday, but the capital is reportedly quiet after a weeklong blitz.

The blitz on street traders and shack dwellers saw tens of thousands arrested or left homeless in the midwinter cold.

State radio announced that the price of maize meal would increase, effective immediately, to Zim$19 000 a 10kg bag, while a standard loaf of bread would increase 29% to Zim$4 500.

Similar price rises in 1998 triggered riots in which at least seven people died after President Robert Mugabe deployed troops backed by tanks and helicopters to townships.

Saturday\'s price hikes were accepted with apparent resignation in Harare, where residents had fought running battles with police last week as paramilitary squads torched and bulldozed roadside kiosks, known as tuckshops, and hundreds of homes.

\"Things are really calm now,\" said Lovemore Machingedzi, an official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change in the capital\'s southern suburbs, which bore the brunt of the unrest of the past few days.

\'An explosive mood