Wheat a minute: Zimbabwe faces bread shortage

2019-02-21 13:32
Sliced white bread. (iStock)

Sliced white bread. (iStock)

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Zimbabwe is on the brink of running out of bread in the coming weeks as flour stocks diminish, according to media reports.

This is largely due to the government's failure to pay for imported wheat, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, the bread price increased by a whopping 66%, while the government tried to lessen the blow on basic commodities by introducing price controls and subsidising healthcare and public transport.

This increase, however, did not have anything to do with the price of wheat from suppliers. 

In December 2018 and January 2019, the bread price increased at least thrice.

Earlier this week, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe's (GMAZ) general manager Lynette Veremu wrote a letter to the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) instructing it not to pay for 55 000 tons of wheat in warehouses in Mozambique and Harare, according to NewsDay.

The letter read: "We regret to advise that the current stocks for foreign wheat for bread flour have depleted to 5 800 tonnes and … we are left with less than eight days of national bread flour supplies."

The letter was dated February 18.

Zimbabwe is also in the middle of a severe shortage of US dollars, which has dwindled fuel and medical supplies, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa struggles to uplift the economy. This was his pre-election promise to the country, ZwNews reported.

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Read more on:    emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe crisis
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