Consumers slam price hikes
ALL retail shops in Mutare have increased prices of basic commodities after bakeries hiked that of bread last Sunday. But the Government through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development on Monday intervened ordering bakers to revert to the old prices.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa also weighed in on Monday, condemning unjustified price hikes by some business dealers, adding that such actions could not be allowed to continue. The President made the remarks while addressing delegates attending the 6th Buy Zimbabwe Annual Awards in Harare.
A snap survey by The Manica Post showed that major retail outlets in Mutare such as OK, TM and Pick n Pay, Spar and Choppies have reviewed upwards the prices of basic commodities such as cooking oil, fresh milk, sugar, bath and washing soap, rice, beef, chicken and toilet tissues among others.
Consumers interviewed this week slammed the price increases and urged the Government to intervene to stop the price madness. They said retailers should not take advantage of the festive season to make a killing through unjustified price increases.
Mrs Ever Manjengwa of Mafararikwa village under Chief Marange said: “I am a farmer in the rural areas and the situation there has become so unbearable due to high prices. It is high time for those responsible for price controlling to take action. As if the high prices are not enough, we have nowhere to make EcoCash cash-outs. We are being charged almost double to get something in the shops and grinding mills. Life is becoming more difficult.”
Mr Emmanuel Banga Mupepura from Nyanyadzi also bemoaned the high pricing of locally manufactured commodities.
“We really wonder what is happening yet everyone as expecting an easy life from now onwards. The situation is now so confusing, painful and unbearable. I came to town on Monday to buy grocer- ies for my family but surprisingly locally manufactured commodities have become more expensive than imports. I decided to go back to the rural areas where the prices appeared lower but within a few hours, retailers back there were alerted of the high prices in towns and cities. What should we do then?”
Mrs Florece Maradza from Tsvingwe, Penhalonga, also said: “We can’t even get cash from the banks yet prices are going up. The little that we earn is no longer enough. We are appealing to the new Government to take action against the rising prices of basic commodities in the shops.”
“The high prices may automatically lead to high school fees and hospital bills. Those responsible should take action before the situation goes out of hand. Prices should be going down instead,” said Mrs Maradza.
Mr Jacob Mashongera, a Mutarebased carpenter; said: “We now have a new Government and we are expecting a change. We are expecting the best and not worst of services. We celebrated over the past few weeks for a change and the new Government should deliver the best services now.
“Those responsible for the rising of prices should face arrest because manufacturers and wholesalers of these commodities have not increased prices. Fuel prices are still normal and what’s the reason for the high prices? We are expecting things to be fine with this new Government. We do not want to get back to the 2008 situation.”
Mr Taurai Matiashe of Chikanga highdensity suburb was also of the same view. He said: “Once prices of basic commodities go up, everything else becomes bad. Unlike in the past years, we had so many tonnes of wheat in this country and bread price should have been 80 cents or even below. We had lots of maize from the Command Agriculture programme but surprisingly maize meal prices have gone up in supermarkets.”
Mr Taurai Matiashe
Mr Emmanuel Mupepura
Mrs Ever Manjengwa
Mrs Florence Maradza
Mr Jacob Mashongera