Zimbabwe’s Economic Crisis Is Biting Even Harder As Telcos Crank Up Price Of Mobile Services

By  |  August 9, 2019

The costs of living continue to become unbearable for most ordinary people in Zimbabwe. The country’s annual inflation rate hit 175 percent in June, raising fears of the return of the hyperinflation that wiped out savings a decade ago when the economy collapsed.

Zimbabweans are currently unable to afford basic needs. Hayden Sibanda, a bus attendant in central Harare, spoke to DW. He said, “Most people are surviving on one meal a day adding that breakfast has now become a luxury. “You eat once in the afternoon or evenings,” he added.

The country’s hunger situation has also been attributed to the current drought situation. President, Emmerson Mnangagwa recently declared the country’s drought a national disaster.

The ban on the use of the dollar has also worsened the country’s already ailing economy. Some businesses were forced to close shops due to a shortage of the dollar which they need to import new stocks.

Fuel prices have been rising weekly and currently, the price for diesel is USD 9,06 and USD 9,01 for petrol.

Due to the tough economic environment, Telcos have also been pushed to increase their prices for different products.

Zimbabweans will have to dig deeper for mobile calls after the country’s telecoms regulator hiked tariffs by 182 percent.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) said the adjustment will help keep operators afloat as the cost of doing business continues to rise.

Data bundle tariffs have also been increased. Most large companies in Zimbabwe currently use generators to run operations due to the current prolonged power cuts. They noted that the increased tariffs are as a result of the extra costs that come with the use of generators as well as the rising inflation.

Econet has made known to its subscribers of a new tariff review to be effected on Friday, August 9.

NetOne already issued a notice to its subscribers saying: “Please be advised that NetOne will be adjusting data and SMS bundle prices effective 8 August 2019. All other prices remain unchanged.”

NetOne’s night bundle’s cost has been increased by about 300 percent under the newly released data bundle tariff.

Featured Image Courtesy: Ponds5

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