In Zim, even the pubs have no beer

MacDonald Dzirutwe

MacDonald Dzirutwe

After a busy day trying to survive Zimbabwe's economic crisis, Jeffrey Ndoro likes to relax after work with a beer.

Even with inflation spiralling out of control, beer was comparatively cheap before a price crackdown by President Robert Mugabe's government caused supplies to dry up.

"Of all the things, you can't find beer - this is too much," said Ndoro, sipping a soda at his drinking spot, the Chelsea Pub.

Ndoro is left with few alcoholic options. A shot of imported whisky, for example, is far too expensive.

Zimbabweans have been struggling with severe shortages of fuel, food and foreign currency, and now the few pleasures of life are rapidly disappearing.

Mugabe has warned businesses that they will face dire consequences if they ignore his price-capping campaign, which is another bid to tame the world's highest inflation rate that has resulted in supplies of maize meal, milk, sugar and meat being cut.

Police have targeted more than 7500 businesspeople and companies for overcharging their customers and Mugabe has vowed to escalate the crackdown that was launched in June.

The shortages of basic goods have increased the misery of Zimbabweans who are struggling with crumbling sewers, water and electricity cuts, and rising unemployment.

In poor townships, where the majority of urban residents live, beer shortages are severe and liquor stores, normally a hive of activity, now close early.

"I am sure things will get worse. But I guess this is now beyond our control," Ndoro said -Reuters