Re­tail­ers raise cook­ing oil price alarm

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo

THE Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe Re­tail­ers (CZR) says it has en­gaged cook­ing oil pro­duc­ers in the coun­try over the ar­bi­trary rais­ing of prices of the com­mod­ity.

Cook­ing oil is one of the prod­ucts listed un­der Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016, which re­moves sev­eral goods from the Open Gen­eral Im­port Li­cence.

The Statu­tory In­stru­ment was pro­mul­gated in June this year to con­trol im­ports en­ter­ing the coun­try.

Over the past few months, the price of cook­ing oil has risen and presently stands at $3,60 for a 2 litre bot­tle, up from about $2,89.

CZR pres­i­dent Mr Den­ford Mu­tashu told Business Chron­i­cle that this was coun­ter­act­ing their ef­forts of im­prov­ing the business land­scape.

“We’ve re­ceived re­ports that some re­tail­ers al­most dou­bled the price of cook­ing oil yes­ter­day (Mon­day), maybe it was a panic re­ac­tion and we find that quite dis­turb­ing,” Mr Mu­tashu said.

“We’ve since en­gaged the cook­ing oil pro­duc­ers be­cause the con­sumers will as­sume that it is the re­tail­ers who are in­creas­ing prices. Such oc­cur­rences erode in­stead of im­prov­ing the op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment.”

Oil ex­pressers have in the re­cent past de­manded that all cook­ing oil sales be trans­acted in cash, say­ing they need to im­port crit­i­cal raw ma­te­ri­als re­quired in pro­duc­ing the com­mod­ity.

Oil Ex­pressers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe pres­i­dent Mr Sylvester Man­gani said the prices of cook­ing oil have seen mar­ginal in­creases in line with the cost of in­ter­na­tional crude prices since this is an im­ported prod­uct.

“In gen­eral, cook­ing oil prices in Zim­babwe re­main the low­est in the re­gion,” he said.

United Re­finer­ies Lim­ited chief executive of­fi­cer Mr Bu­sisa Moyo, whose com­pany is a lead­ing cook­ing oil pro­ducer, could not be reached for com­ment as his mo­bile phone rang unan­swered.

Mean­while, CZR said its mem­bers were record­ing brisk business since the re­lease of bond notes. — @Bian­caMlilo.

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