Zimbabwe is in the midst of an severe economic crisis and acute shortage of foreign currency, which has led to fuel, bread and other essential goods shortages. Many Zimbabwean companies have stopped working because they simply cannot afford to import raw materials.
The country is currently on a three-day nationwide strike and protests are erupting in the streets after the government doubled fuel prices, making gasoline sold in Zimbabwe the most expensive in the world.
Following hyperinflation in 2009, Zimbabwe abolished its own currency and has been using the US dollar and South African rand instead.
But the economic crisis and foreign currency shortages has prompted the government to say over the weekend that it would introduce a new currency of its own in the next 12 months.
According to Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded the president of 38 years Robert Mugabe in November 2017, the doubling of the fuel prices would help ease fuel shortages.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Mnangagwa wrote on Sunday:
“Following the current shortfall in the fuel market, we have chosen to act, and act decisively. The shortage, attributable to increased fuel usage in the growing economy, and compounded by rampant illegal currency and fuel trading activities, is unsustainable and Government has today decided on the following measures:
•A fuel pump price set at $3.11 per liter ($11.77 per gallon) for diesel, and $3.33 per liter ($12.60 per gallon) for petrol.”
The gasoline price of $3.33 per liter ($12.6 0 per gallon) is now the world’s highest.
According to data from GlobalPetrolprices.com, as of January 7, 2019, the world’s average gasoline price was $1.08 per liter, or $4.09 per gallon. The most expensive gasoline in the world before the Zimbabwean price hike was in Hong Kong where a gallon of gas goes for $7.71.