The cost of living in Zimbabwe continues to go out of control with prices of basic commodities eroding salaries for most workers who are paid in Zimbabwean dollars, especially civil servants.
As of June 2022, inflation rose up to 191,7%. Using the official and parallel exchange rate on an average excluding the US$175 paid to civil servants, a nurse is currently earning equivalent to US$79 at the official rate and US$42,85 at the parallel market rate.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) spokesperson Christopher Kamba said prices have been on an upward trend since January. He said the rising prices were due to the foreign currency parallel market rate, which manufacturers and retailers have for long grappled with.
“The CCZ has noticed that some retailers (mostly local tuckshops) are selling a two-litre unit of cooking oil for between US$5,50 and US$7, resulting in consumer panic and a further spike in prices,” Kamba said.
Kamba explained that the US dollar price component started increasing after the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which has affected global supply chains.
Meanwhile, the local currency continues to depreciate with the parallel market rates ranging between ZW$690 and ZW$750 to US$1, which is double the official bank rate, which currently stands at US$1: ZW$379, 22.
In its latest report on the country’s food security outlook for June 2022 to January 2023, the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) said most households were likely to remain food constrained.