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Zimbabwe Government Threatens Another Price-Cutting Campaign

The Zimbabwean government on Tuesday ordered businesses to cut prices of goods to March 18 levels following a threat by President Robert Mugabe to unleash another price-cutting drive like the July 2007 campaign that crippled the consumer economy.

Mr. Mugabe in a campaign speech accused certain businesses of trying to undermine his administration by driving up prices. Business leaders met Tuesday with state price-control officials with an eye to averting another price-cutting blitz. Reports said the government officials threatened a price freeze and company seizures.

Harare correspondent Sylvia Manika of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that businesses will find it hard to operate under such conditions as most firms are struggling to continue amidst chronic scarcities of foreign exchange.

Meanwhile, independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni was addressing a rally in Kuwadzana, Harare, where he told a crowd of about 3,000 people that the first step to an economic recovery was to remove President Mugabe from power.

Correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from the scene.

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