Zimbabwe fast food outlets 'shut down indefinitely'
Leading fast food chains in Zimbabwe have reportedly shut down their businesses as the "cash crunch in the country worsens".
BBC reported on Wednesday that KFC Zimbabwe had put up notices at their branches in the capital, Harare, and in Bulawayo, telling customers that they were closed "during these difficult times" until further notice.
Part of the notice outside KFC outlets read: "This is due to the fact that we are unable to source stock from our suppliers as they require US dollars. We are doing everything possible to resume trade as soon as possible."
Another food outlet, St Elmos Pizza, posted on its Facebook page that it was shutting down due to the same reasons.
According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, the country's famous Chicken Inn also closed its its doors on Tuesday due to chicken shortages. It remained unclear when it would re-open.
Several other food outlets were said to have opted for a "wait and see" option, while others had increased their prices. This came after the country's Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube, announced a 2% tax on electronic money transfers last week, in a bid to raise money for the cash-strapped government.
The tax announcement triggered price hikes and shortages of fuel and some basics like cooking oil over the weekend.
Last week the privately-owned Financial Gazette reported that prices of basic goods such as mealie-meal, meat, soap, toiletries, rice, sugar and vegetables were spiralling out of control due to a currency crisis precipitated by foreign currency shortages.
The report said that the price increases were set to "worsen consumers' situation because disposable incomes have always been under pressure due to a combination of poor salaries, high unemployment and the fact that Zimbabwe is a high cost producer".