MPs con­demn price hikes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment have con­demned the re­cent hik­ing of prices by re­tail­ers, say­ing this was meant to in­cite peo­ple to rise against the Gov­ern­ment.

They said the un­just price hikes were se­ri­ously af­fect­ing Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes aimed at re­viv­ing the econ­omy.

Buhera South leg­is­la­tor Cde Joseph Chino­timba said it was un­for­tu­nate that prof­i­teer­ing be­ing spear­headed by greedy peo­ple was af­fect­ing Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to im­prove the lives of peo­ple.

He said if prices of agri­cul­tural in­puts are not mon­i­tored, pro­grammes that in­clude Com­mand Agri­cul­ture could be ad­versely af­fected.

“It’s wor­ry­ing that prices of in­puts have gone up to alarm­ing lev­els. The pes­ti­cides that we used to buy for $15 a litre, have been dou­bled and some­times they are now be­ing sold at $45 per litre. Fer­tiliser that used to be very af­ford­able at be­tween $30 and $32 now costs $45 to $50,” said Cde Chino­timba while speak­ing in Par­lia­ment on Tues­day.

The MP said Gov­ern­ment should in­ves­ti­gate and bring the price hike craze to an end, say­ing it could de­stroy the na­tion.

“We thank the Pres­i­dent for the Com­mand Agri­cul­ture but we also want him to send teams to in­ves­ti­gate the prices that have gone up be­cause the hik­ing of prices is not fair.

“Those peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas are sub­sis­tence farmers and they can­not af­ford the ex­pen­sive fer­til­iz­ers be­cause it now costs $100 for 18kg,” said Cde Chino­timba.

He warned that if the price hikes con­tinue there would be no food in the coun­try.

“If prices con­tinue to go up, it means that the per­son can no longer af­ford to buy fer­til­izer or the seed it­self.

“So, the Pres­i­dent talked about Com­mand Agri­cul­ture which is a good ini­tia­tive but we re­quest that the Gov­ern­ment goes down on the ground and in­ves­ti­gate what is hap­pen­ing — not only to in­ves­ti­gate the prices of bis­cuits and other com­modi­ties but also the price of in­puts for agri­cul­ture,” he added.

Mpopoma-Pe­land­aba leg­is­la­tor Cde Joseph Tshuma said there was also ma­nip­u­la­tion of the ex­change rate.

He said the re­cent price hikes were meant to in­cite peo­ple against the Gov­ern­ment.

“The Pres­i­dent also spoke about the econ­omy. I looked at the is­sue of the pric­ing sys­tem and I was say­ing to my­self, here we are and I will give an ex­am­ple of Croco Mo­tors. Just a few weeks ago, when you take your car for ser­vic­ing, it would cost you about $200 to $300 but right now, if you go there it is cost­ing you around $700 to $1 000 and you are say­ing to your­self, what price ad­just­ment and jus­ti­fi­ca­tion do you get from such kind of hik­ing of prices?” asked the MP.

“You go to the shops and see the ba­sic com­modi­ties, it is the same thing. Why, this is be­cause some­body is spec­u­lat­ing and play­ing around with per­cent­ages on the bond notes and the US dol­lar. How fair can we be Madam Speaker?

“If you go to Fourth Street right now or go to Bu­l­awayo at Tred­gold, you are going to find trunks and trunks of money, be it US dol­lar or bond notes but at the end of the day, the blame goes to the Pres­i­dent, the Gov­ern­ment, Zanu-PF.”

Three weeks ago, con­sumers de­scended into pan­icbuy­ing amid false re­ports on so­cial me­dia that the coun­try was head­ing for a re­peat of 2008, when short­ages of ba­sic com­modi­ties were ex­pe­ri­enced. — @pame­lashumba1

Cde Joseph Chino­timba

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