The latest economic crisis in Zimbabwe didn’t start with these debilitating power cuts we are being forced to live through. It started with cash, fuel and bread shortages.
While a few weeks ago you would find people standing in line waiting to buy a loaf of bread for their family breakfast, in our recent survey we noticed something strange. Right now there is not a bread shortage in Zimbabwe!
Supermarket shelves were staked to the brim with this supposedly rare commodity. Of all the four major supermarkets we surveyed: OK, Choppies, FoodWorld and Pick N Pay all had shelves full of bread. This wasn’t a branch thing either, all branches we looked at from Mbare to the CBD had bread.
It seems bread has now become too expensive
The full shelves are half the story, however. During the entire research, we only saw very few people buying bread. Most people just took a glance at the asking price of $7, shook their heads in resignation and went on to admire goods that are simply now priced beyond their reach.
Just over a week ago bakers increased the price of bread from the barely affordable $5 to around $6.20. It is not clear when bread reached the price of $7. It seems this price is a little too far for most pockets which now have to pay more for the little electricity that ZESA is providing as well as contend with fuel and prices of virtually everything else going up.