Protests have broken out in Zimbabwe’s two main cities following the more than doubling of the fuel price. Burning tyres and boulders are being used to barricade roads and block buses from carrying passengers.
According to BBC, president Emmerson Mnangagwa said the fuel price rise is aimed at tackling shortages caused by an increase in fuel use and “rampant” illegal trading.
Zimbabwe’s government is trying to resuscitate the country’s struggling economy.
The southern African nation faces a severe shortage of US dollar cash and confidence in its bond notes, which are supposed to be worth the same as the dollar, is still low.
In a televised address on Saturday, President Mnangagwa said the fuel price hike would address the ongoing fuel problems, which have seen motorists queuing for hours at petrol stations.
He said the government would crack down on “elements bent on taking advantage of the current fuel shortages to cause and sponsor unrest and instability in the country”.
The hike means petrol prices rose from $1.24 a litre to $ 3.31, with diesel up from $1.36 a litre to $3.11.
The main labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), said the government had shown a clear lack of empathy for the poor, AFP news agency reports.
In the capital, Harare, hundreds of residents in the suburb of Epworth blocked roads to prevent buses from getting to their destination.
The angry youth said the government does not seem to have solutions to their problems and called on it to step down, the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka in Harare reports.