International Law

Chaos in Zimbabwe Over Price Controls

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Chaos has resulted in Zimbabwe from draconian price controls imposed a month ago by the government of Robert Mugabe under threat of criminal sanctions.

So far, some 6,500 workers including executives of major retailers have been arrested as a result of widespread resistance to the price controls, and executives are also accused of having conspired against the Zimbabwean government, along with the U.S. and U.K., reports the London Times in articles today and earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the situation has been exacerbated by a shortage of food, transportation and utility service, the Times says. Its correspondent describes feelingly in another Times article a day that begins with a bedside lamp that doesn’t switch on, a telephone that doesn’t work and a housekeeper who arrives two hours late after walking an hour and finally struggling into a crowded open truck. One local supermarket is closed, due to lack of fuel, but another is open, the account continues. At the checkout line, “everyone looks hungrily in everyone else’s shopping basket for something they missed on the thinning shelves.”

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