Price war ‘a vote-catching’ gimmick

HARARE - More than three quarters of Zimbabweans have seen through President Robert Mugabe's so-called "price war" hoax, dismissing it as a vote-catching gimmick.
A snap survey carried out by The Zimbabwean this week revealed a hardening of attitudes among a population long considered too gen

erous towards poor governance.
Many of those interviewed were scathing in their criticism, questioning the wisdom of slashing prices as products simply disappeared from shelves.
This opinion was reinforced by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who told a rally in Chitungwiza that Mugabe’s price crackdown was a desperate tactic to deflect attention from the voter registration exercise, which closes on August 18.
“The real issue is diversion, to divert the people of Zimbabwe from the problems they are facing, so that they spend most of their time chasing each other in shops at a time voter registration is taking place,” Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters.
At least 64 percent of those interviewed said they believed the price crackdown had nothing to do with fighting inflation but campaigning for Mugabe ahead of next year’s harmonized elections. Even 31 percent of Zanu (PF) supporters expressed this opinion.
The snap survey, held across poor ghettos, working class suburbs, the city center, middle class neighbourhoods and leafy low density residential areas, revealed that opinion was extremely hostile to the “price war” and that only among the radical core of Zanu (PF) supporters was there a majority that believed that the price slash would curb the inflation spiral.

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