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Post-Election Uncertainties Exacerbate Food Shortages In Zimbabwe

Shortages of the Zimbabwean staple maize meal, bread and sugar have worsened in the immediate aftermath of the country's elections, with lines growing outside bakeries and grain milling establishments as consumers wait in hope of deliveries.

But such essential commodities are mostly found these days on the parallel market at nominally staggering prices - Z$400 million (US$7) for a 10-kilo bag of maize meal and Z$20 million for a loaf of bread. Inflation is running well over 100,000%.

Sources familiar with the marketplace said one reason food has become more scarce is that the government has stopped distributing food as pre-election largesse.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Marah Hativagone told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the situation might take a while to improve because many businesses are waiting for the political picture to clear.

Results of the March 29 presidential and general elections have not yet officially been released, but most parliamentary and local election winners have been established.

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