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Reality Check: Why has Zimbabwe hiked petrol prices?

Claim: Black market currency dealing and the illegal trade in fuel have contributed to Zimbabwe's severe fuel shortages.

Verdict: This is correct, but not the full story. The conditions which have led to this are rooted in the government's introduction of a controversial local currency pegged to the United States dollar.

There have been widespread protests in Zimbabwe's largest cities following an increase in the price of fuel.

Prices have more than doubled, making petrol and diesel the most expensive in the world.

So why has the government done this?

The government says the price hikes were put in place to avert fuel shortages and to crack down on the illegal trading of fuel.

Petrol prices rose from $1.24 (£0.97) a litre to $3.31, with diesel up from $1.36 a litre to $3.11.

President Mnangagwa announced the increases and promptly left the country for a European tour, and to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The price of fuel is set by the government and petrol stations are required to sell fuel at this price, pegged to the US dollar.

First, let's look at the shortages.

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