Thursday, 9 September 2010

Victory for Mozambique rioters

PEOPLE power has notched up an important victory in Mozambique, with riots forcing the government to reverse a huge rise in the price of bread.

Reports Times Live: "The 30% rise in the bread price as a result of soaring wheat prices sparked the worst riots since 2008 in the country.

"President Armando Guebuza's government had said it had been forced to increase bread prices because of the spike in wheat prices, which was linked partly to drought and fires in Russia.

"The United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, Oliver de Schutter, warned yesterday the riots should be a wake-up call for governments that ignored food security problems, which arose two years ago.

"Police fired rubber bullets, live ammunition and tear gas during the three days of protests against higher bread prices and rises in water and electricity tariffs last week.

"The price hike took the price of a bread roll - the bread staple of Mozambicans - to R1.45 in a country where the average person is paid about R267 a month."

The government said it would put in place austerity measures to help fund subsidies by freezing allowances and pay rises for senior state officials. Foreign travel by officials would be limited.