ZANU PF youth militia hired by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to enforce price controls have intensified raids on shops flouting controls ahead of the fe
The blitz on shops follows a recent spate of price increases by shop owners taking advantage of the festive season and end of year bonus payments.
The youths were spotted this week conducting raids in major retail outlets enforcing price controls on selected commodities in Bulawayo.
Party militias from the National Youth Service training are accused of beating up and harassing businessmen for inflating prices.
Police Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka referred this paper to the central bank for comment.
The police, initially in charge of enforcing price controls, were replaced by the overzealous youth militias following accusations that they were soliciting bribes from shop owners selling their commodities above the gazetted prices.
The militant youths are believed to be earning around $300 000 a month to perform police duties.
They are reportedly operating under the Crime Prevention Unit at the Bulawayo central police station.
Analysts say the raids on shops and major retail outlets are contributing to widespread shortages of basic commodities.
Industry and International Trade minister Obert Mpofu has in the past vowed he would deal with shops that are flouting price controls and arbitrarily increasing the price of controlled commodities in violation of the Controlled Goods Act.
A week after his declaration, a swoop on major retail outlets followed resulting in managers and workers of these shops being hauled before the courts.
National Bakers Association chairman, Burombo Mudumo, was sentenced for six months for hiking the price of bread.
But economists have criticiced the raids as an admission by the government that it has failed to revive the failing economy characterised by widespread shortages and galloping inflation.