Money printing Zimbabwe tightens price controls worsening food shortages

HARARE, July 17, 2007 (AFP) – Zimbabwe’s government was set to intensify its pricing crackdown, despite being condemned by the White House on Tuesday as a reckless move that would further fuel inflation and exacerbate food shortages. Nathan Shamuyarira, ZANU-PF’s secretary for information and publicity, said a meeting of the party’s politburo on Monday, chaired by President Robert Mugabe, had decided to extend the three-week old Operation Dzikiza (Operation Reduced Prices) as it had already shown to have brought prices down.

“We got a full report from the ministerial taskforce and the politburo was very impressed that prices were coming down,” Shamuyarira was quoted as saying on the website of the state-run Herald newspaper.

“The politburo came up with a number of measures to tighten and intensify the process and these will be tabled before the central committee … but we were quite impressed with the process.”

The central committee’s recommendations will then be “implemented by the relevant arms of government,” said the Herald without giving further details.

Retailers and manufacturers, grappling to cope with an inflation rate now believed to be well over 5,000 percent, had been raising their prices several times