Zimbabwe government sued over fuel price hike

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The Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has petitioned the High Court seeking an order to reverse last month’s 150% fuel price hike made by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, arguing that the move was illegal and unconstitutional.

PTUZ filed the urgent chamber application alongside its secretary-general Raymond Majongwe, who filed in his personal capacity, while Mnangagwa, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, Energy minister Joram Gumbo and the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority were cited as co-respondents.

The move to petition the court followed Mnangagwa’s announcement of new fuel prices on January 12, 2019, making the commodity the most expensive in the world.

“This is an application seeking a provisional order and then a final order to set aside all recently ordered fuel price rises on the grounds of being patently illegal and also unconstitutional and of irreparable harm to us and others,” Majongwe said in his founding affidavit.

In his proclamation, Mnangagwa pegged the price of petrol at $3,36 from $1,32 and diesel from $1,24 to $3,11. The fuel increase, however, led to violent protests, which resulted in extensive damage to property and looting. A brutal military crackdown, which ensued, resulted in the death of 17 people, torture and arrest of thousands.