Zimbabwean authorities said to be from the Central Intelligence Organization security agency arrested more than 100 managers of retail stores and wholesale outlets in Bulawayo on Wednesday for allegedly overcharging and mispricing goods.
The businesses targeted were some of the country's largest retail operators, including Advance Wholesalers, OK, TM Hypermarket and Jaggers, and various bakeries.
Eyewitnesses said agents in civilian dress, transported in trucks, raided retail outlets and arrested managers. The witnesses said the officials, suspected to be CIO agents, proceeded brusquely and paid no attention to explanations offered by retailers.
The business who were arrested spent the night in jail and were released Thursday.
The Zimbabwean national police declined to comment. But sources who had spoken with police said the raids were part of a crackdown on alleged price gouging.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries President Callisto Jokonya, whose organization reached an agreement with the government to halt the arrests, said it was not clear as of late Thursday who had ordered the latest round of arrests.