Zimbabwe senator arrested for defying price controls

HARARE - A senator from Zimbabwe’s ruling party and 20 business people have been arrested for flouting a government-imposed ceiling on basic commodity prices, a report said Sunday.

By (AFP)

Published: Sun 1 Jul 2007, 4:53 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:10 PM

The state-run Sunday Mail said a crack unit on price controls arrested Zanu-PF senator Siriro Majuru, of Murehwa-Goromonzi east of Harare, for allegedly over-pricing and hoarding basic commodities.

President Robert Mugabe recently warned that his government would seize and nationalise businesses caught charging exorbitant prices.

‘We arrested the senator on charges of over-pricing and hoarding of controlled basic commodities,’ a spokesman, who was not named, told the weekly.

Police seized the keys of a tractor recently allocated to the senator by the government, the report added. It gave no details on the other arrests.

‘We felt that since the senator was not complying with a government directive to reduce prices, he should not continue benefiting from the facility,’ the spokesman said.

On Thursday, the government ordered a blanket freeze on the prices of all goods and services, previously limited to essential products, saying prices could only be raised with government approval.

Since then, the crack unit has visited several retail outlets in and around the capital.

Zimbabwe, reeling under hyperinflation, is critically short of essential items like wheat, fuel and food.

Mugabe’s government introduced price controls five years ago to fight a burgeoning black market in staples like cornmeal, cooking oil and bread.

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