WhatsApp works in Harare from time to time; early morning is best. But Wi-Fi costs are about double the same package in Johannesburg. In most supermarkets there are many items that are imported duty-free from SA, but the government slaps so-called surcharges on everything, and so prices of everyday items, such as soap, are inflated. There is always an extra unforeseen tax. This means it pays retailers to import stock from SA using "runners", who charge 30% of the cost of the goods to smuggle them across the Limpopo. This process is also quicker than importing goods legally. Advertised prices of property in Zimbabwe’s crumbling capital, Harare, are absurd, and there is little for sale, as a mark-up to allow conversion of electronic money into real cash is built into the prices. The local bank account of the seller shows proceeds from the sale in dollars, but those are "Zollars" — as some call electronic transfers — which are at present about half the value of the greenback. And that ...

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