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In Zimbabwe, Price of Electricity Shoots Up 320%

FILE - With electricity unavailable or unaffordable for many, Learnmore Mavhura, right, helps his 9-year old nephew, Lionel, do his homework by candlelight, in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 23, 2019.

The price of electricity jumped an alarming 320% in Zimbabwe on Wednesday as the country continues to spiral into the worst economic crisis in more than a decade.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) said it had approved the request by the national power company to increase the rate from 38 Zimbabwe cents per kilowatt hour to 162 Zimbabwe cents.

The price hike was the second in three months. In August, ZERA approved a price hike of 400%.

Authorities said the hike was needed for the power company to be able to afford to maintain its equipment and buy fuel for its generators.

Supporters of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who came to power after long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was deposed in late 2017, had hoped he would be able to revive the economy quickly. But that has failed to materialize.

Mnangagwa has pleaded for more time and patience from his countrymen even as inflation continues to skyrocket.

The government stopped publishing inflation figures after they peaked at 176% in June. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that inflation hit 300% in August.

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