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Cost of Living in Zimbabwe Up 28% In August, Fueling Worker Unrest

Basic living costs went up about 28% in Zimbabwe in the most recent month for which data was available, said the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, reporting that an urban family of six now needs an income of Z$96,000 a month to keep itself afloat.

The so-called bread-basket report set basic living costs at Z$75,000 in July.

Economists said the latest jump in the cost of living showed that government directives ordering a freeze on prices of basic goods have largely gone unheeded.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions said the data will reinforce the resolve of its members preparing to confront the government with demonstrations September 13.

The trade union has dubbed its protest offensive “Operation Tatambura-Usadherere Mushandi,” a phrase in the vernacular Shona language for “We have suffered a lot – do not - take workers for granted.” Civic groups and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have promised to back up the union in its street action.

For a labor perspective reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labor and Economic Development Institute who said workers and pensioners are being hit hard by surging living costs.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...