In Zimbabwe, the price of bread reportedly rose almost twenty-five percent today. The price of cooking oil has also gone up. News of the price hikes follow President Robert Mugabe?s campaign promise that the government would not raise the prices of basic commodities. The increases are the first since price controls were imposed in October.
The government has been under pressure by industry to reconsider the measure. The price hikes come at a time when Zimbabwe?s food security is considered at risk because of drought, political instability and land reform.
The US-based ?Famine Early Warning System Network? is raising concerns. Program official Chuck Chopak told English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua that the food situation is serious but has not reached the famine stage. However, he says he thinks the government will have to take emergency measures to import enough food in the coming months. He says it is too soon to tell whether the drought will continue at the end of the year, worsening the food situation.