Zimbabwe’s economy enters the tipping end, on the verge of a total collapse, as the price of fuel shoots up, affecting business operations who had resorted to alternative means.

Since the heightened loadsheding by the country’s power utility, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority, many companies resorted to using generators so as to remain in operation, however, fuel price hike has just made the survival strategy unsustainable.

The early birds were shocked this morning, finding the price of fuel up. Diesel is now selling at ZW$7.49 and petrol is going for ZW$7.19, this a massive blow to the industry and commerce, as many had resorted to using generators. Since the next level of loadsheding, many companies have reduced trading hours so as to reduce the costs associated with running on generators.

A senior employee, at one of the country’s retail giant, OK supermarkets told this publication this morning, that the hiking of diesel would greatly affect their business. “We have been running on generator for quite a long time now, and with this latest hike in fuel, business is not sustainable anymore,” says the manager who declined to be named citing protocol issues.

He also bemoans the recent shut down of mobile networks owing to power outages, saying as for their shop, if affected them most, as they were running on generator, but with little income.

“When the mobile phone networks were shut down, or electronic and mobile money payments systems also went down. That took a toll on us, because the generator was consuming fuel, which was not being matched by the sales. Many customers left their trollies full of groceries by the till points, as they failed to pay using Ecocash and other electronic systems,” explains the senior employee at one of the supermarket’s branches in the capital.

Meanwhile, the price of fuel has a ripple effect on the prices of basic commodities, and fears are that the hikes in prices of petrol and diesel just witnessed this morning will trigger massive price hikes, eroding the workers disposable incomes which had remained stagnant.

In a related development, the Amalgamated Rural Teachers’ Union of Zimbababwe, (ARTUZ) which flatly rejected a deal agreed by the National Joint Negotiating Council in their meeting concluded in darkness, has reportedly gone on strike. The teachers declined the offer of ZW$400 cushioning allowance agreed for July falls far short of the monthly needs of the workers.

They accused the employer, the government for negotiating in bad faith. They also claimed that the ongoing negotiations for a conditions of living adjustment were not sincere but an attempt to buy time, on the part of the government, which is at the habit of persecuting union leaders.

“The State has once again launched an onslaught against our members. In Gutu six state agents were hunting for our National leader Mr Lawrence Mapengo at his work station, who was fortunately not around at the time. In Chinhoyi a surveillance team is tracking our Acting Secretary General Mr Munyaradzi Ndawana. Recently, a car with strangers spent the whole night parked at his gate.

“We condemn the cowardly acts by the State and implore the State to guarantee the security of all our members,” said ARTUZ in a statement.