Con­sumers slam price hikes

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Bless­ing Rwizi Busi­ness Correspondent

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

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