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Low-income citizens of Zimbabwe may face food crisis with reinstated taxes

Reinstated taxes on imported food items in Zimbabwe could cause food security issues among low-income citizens, IRIN reports.

Such taxes had been removed in 2009 on goods like cooking oil, sugar, maize meal, meat and soap, in order to get these products back on the shelves in the country after a bout of hyperinflation led to a lack of commodities being available.

In the recent months since reintroducing the taxes, prices have increased by an alarming rate, according to the news outlet.

Cooking oil went up by a dollar, while a bar of soap went up by 80 cents and imported chicken rose in price by almost a dollar as well.

Much of the inflation may be due to local manufactures, Innocent Makwiramiti, a Harare-based economist and former chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, told the news outlet.

"We have observed that locally produced goods feature prominently in the list of commodities whose prices have gone up sharply. There is no reason why that should be so and the only explanation is that they are doing it for speculative reasons and out of greed," Makwiramiti told the source.

Spikes in prices could cause impoverished residents to resort to using illegal cooking oil or turning to the black market to provide for their family.
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