Small towns not spared of food shortages

Residents in Zvishavane, mostly women, having spending a lot of their productive time queuing at local supermarkets to buy cooking oil and other scarce and now rationed food stuffs.

At one supermarket, the queue started out very small around 2pm and as the afternoon went by it grew bigger, with numbers surging to around 200 by late afternoon and consumers being limited to one 2 litre bottle per person in a bid to avoid hoarding.

Some of the women who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was better to wait in line than to buy the cooking oil at double or tripple the price in other supermarkets, "Tirimo muqueue takamirira bhodhoro one remafuta mufunge unotoona kuti zvirinani pane kutenga kumwe kwaari kunzi $6 (we are in the queue waiting to buy one bottle but its better to wait than to buy at double the price elsewhere),"  said one of the customers.

Queues for basic foods such as cooking oil, flour and Mazoe have become the order of the day in many parts of Zimbabwe

Cooking oil in the supermarket was being sold at $3.75 which is 5cents higher than the regulated price for Pure drop, in other shops different types of cooking oil are ranging between 5.99 and $12. While the shops are trying their best to keep supplies flowing,  the queues for basic commodities  keep getting longer each day as most consumers are panic buying, afraid of a repeat of 2008 when most basic commodities all but disappeared from shop shelves. 


A suspected hoarder and black market trader in the scarce cooking oil is involved in an accident. 

The queue in Zvishavane was mainly characterized by women, some having babies on their backs and they had no option but to wait in line since they are the ones who have to cook at the end of the day, some said they had to leave work early in order to join the queue.

"If you don't buy the cooking oil it's you who will have to face the children and explain to them why you have not been able to cook, while the husband is out and about. So its better to be patient and buy than to go face hungry children, " said Tracy Khumalo one of those who were waiting in line.