- Prices of food in Zimbabwe have shot up ahead of the country's combined elections on 29 March. Believing that the act was part of the white investors' plots to endanger his re-election into office for the sixth time, President Mugabe has swiftly reacted, threatening to force businesses to reduce prices.
The Zimbabwean government's clash with investors over price hikes last year resulted to food scarcity.
The current hikes followed the government's huge salary increase to civil servants and teachers in February.
President Mugabe - who had reportedly ordered a meeting between the government and the business community - told a political rally in Hwange that businesses should reduce prices to those which were in effect before the salary increase.
Any business that remains adamant risk being nationlised under the new Indegenisation and Empowerment Act. The new law empowers black Zimbabweans to control majority stakes in businesses in the country.
President Mugabe will be challenged by three contenders at the weekend polls, including Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change and Simba Makoni, former Finance Minister and key figure of the ruling Zanu-PF party.
Mr Tsvangirai was not sure of credible elections, accusing the government of planning to rig the process.
The government has refused to accredit western observers from monitoring the polls.
Ahead of the polls, rights groups raised eyebrows over the rising escalation of human rights abuse by the government.
Zimbabwe had been grappling with serious economic crisis, resulting to high inflation rate and rising cost of living.
Until the enforcement of Mr Mugabe's controversial land distribution programme, Zimbabwe had been the food basket of southern Africa region.
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