HARARE – Zimbabwe lifted a ban on the import of basic goods and foodstuffs on Tuesday after shelves were emptied in recent weeks by consumers panicking over a deepening currency crisis.
After winning a disputed election in July, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pledged to end long-running currency shortages and revive a struggling economy but his government’s early interventions have caused public alarm.
The introduction of a new tax on electronic transactions in an economy desperately short of hard cash caused fuel shortages this month and prompted shoppers to stockpile goods, leaving shops empty of basics like cooking oil and sugar.
Zimbabwe introduced a ban on the imports of many basic goods in 2016 as it sought to help its manufacturing recover after more than a decade of contraction.
“Cabinet noted with concern that the basic commodities continued to be in short supply,” Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said in a statement.