Zimbabwe arrests business people as money printing drives prices up

HARARE, July 13, 2007 (AFP) – Authorities in Zimbabwe announced the arrest of hundreds more retailers and executives as part of an ongoing price crackdown Friday as it emerged the head of the central bank had warned against the blitz. Mugabe has warned that his government will seize and nationalise companies that refuse to toe the line.

Among the latest arrests were four police officers accused of looting from shops which are fast running out of stocks while the total number of executives to have been detained was approaching the 3,000 mark.

A further 272 commuter buses had also been impounded after the operators were accused of overcharging passengers, a police spokesman said.

“Two of our officers were arrested in Harare and two others in Bulawayo for taking advantage of the on-going operation to steal from shops,” Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka told AFP.

“We have so far arrested 2,776 business people and shop owners who have been violating the government pricing structures since the start of the operation.”

The figure means that nearly 1,000 more have been arrested since the last tally was announced on Tuesday.

Teams from Zimbabwe’s security forces and a price-monitoring commission were deployed