Price hikes com­mit­tee wel­comed:

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Kudzanai Gerede Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

THE set­ting up of an ad-hoc com­mit­tee by the rul­ing Zanu-PF party’s high­est de­ci­sion mak­ing body, the Polit­buro, last Wed­nes­day to tackle un­war­ranted price in­creases has been hailed as a timeous in­ter­ven­tion to con­tain prof­i­teer­ing by un­scrupu­lous busi­ness peo­ple at the ex­pense of the na­tion.

The com­mit­tee will be led by the rul­ing party’s Sec­ond Sec­re­tary and Vice Pres­i­dent, Gen­eral Costantino Gu­veya Chi­wenga (Rtd).

Prices shot up sharply fol­low­ing a so­cial me­dia hoax of im­pend­ing food short­ages last Septem­ber and since then they have con­tin­ued on an up­ward trend prompt­ing the Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa to act.

The Pres­i­dent warned those be­hind the wan­ton prices hikes that their days were num­bered as the com­mit­tee would in­ves­ti­gate the root of the prob­lem and bring of­fend­ers to book.

The move has been seen as a ma­jor stamp of ac­tion on prom­ises the new lead­er­ship made to the suf­fer­ing peo­ple of Zim­babwe that the new dis­pen­sa­tion will im­prove their lives.

Con­sumer Coun­cil of Zim­babwe chair­per­son, Mrs Rose­mary Siy­a­chitema told The Man­ica Post that the de­vel­op­ment has shown com­mit­ment by the rul­ing party to the plight of the peo­ple.

“It is their duty as the lead­er­ship of the peo­ple to ad­dress is­sues that im­pact on the cit­i­zenry.

“We are happy that the is­sue of ris­ing in­fla­tion has fi­nally been ad­dressed by the high­est of­fice and we look for­ward to fruit­ful so­lu­tions to this chal­lenge.

“We have been do­ing sur­veys and since May last year that is when we started to be­moan price in­creases, so fi­nally we feel re­lieved that there is sup­port from the top of­fice,” said Mrs Siy­a­chitema.

Some re­tail­ers have put the blame on un­scrupu­lous whole­salers whom they ac­cuse of un­veil­ing prod­ucts to street ven­dors who will sell the prod­ucts on the par­al­lel mar­ket de­mand­ing hard cash as com­pared to avail­ing the same to for­mal re­tail­ers, who will make pay­ments through bank­ing chan­nels as they seek quick cash.

Eco­nomic an­a­lyst, Mr Kip­son Gun­dani wel­comed the move say­ing it is go­ing to read­just the pric­ing model in the econ­omy if strict over­sight in the set­ting up of prices is im­ple­mented.

“There is a des­per­ate need for dis­ci­pline in pric­ing on the mar­ket. Surely lead­ers ought to find the so­lu­tion to the prob­lem.

“I am par­tic­u­larly ex­cited that from what the com­mit­tee has been tasked to do, it’s to sim­ply in­ves­ti­gate what jus­ti­fi­ca­tion is there for price hik­ing and iden­ti­fy­ing cul­prits to this prob­lem.

“This is there­fore not a price-con­trol game at play, they are not dic­tat­ing prices be­cause both in the­ory and in prac­tice it has al­ways proven that price con­trols do not work and I am con­fi­dent our lead­ers are not obliv­i­ous to that fact.

“So this is a very wel­come move,” said Gun­dani, from Buy Zim­babwe, a lo­cal con­tent lobby group.

Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe Re­tailer pres­i­dent, Den­ford Mu­tashu, im­plored on Gov­ern­ment to work hand in glove with busi­ness in stem­ming out price in­dis­ci­pline within the pro­duc­tive value chains as they con­trib­ute to the fi­nal prod­uct price on the shelve.

“The price in­crease has been ne­ces­si­tated on two fronts.

“First the short­age of for­eign cur­rency to im­port some prod­ucts which lo­cal pro­duc­ers are fail­ing to ad­e­quately sup­ply on the mar­ket.

“Sec­ondly, it’s the greed by in­di­vid­ual traders who are in­creas­ing prices un­jus­ti­fi­ably not based on cost of pro­duc­tion.

“We im­plore the task force to deal with the is­sue of cash sell­ing in the streets which is the cause of in­fla­tion as rates are be­ing dis­torted on the par­al­lel mar­ket,” said Mr Mu­tashu.

Ms Siy­a­chitema

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.