THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) says the family basket increased by $6,42 to $593,55 in October, following the September 22 “panic buying” which triggered massive increase in prices of basic commodities.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In a statement on Friday, CCZ said the food basket increased by $4,97 to $146,12 by end-October 2017.
The price of detergents increased by 3,52% to $13,43 in the period under review.
Increases were recorded in almost all basic commodities including roller meal, tea, cooking oil, flour, rice, salt, onions, cabbage, beef, bath soap, laundry bar, washing powder, among others.
Decreases were recorded in margarine by $0,06 to $1,51, milk from $0,58 to $0,50 and tomatoes by $0,04 to $0,99.
CCZ said the increase in prices could be attributed to various factors including the fluctuation of fuel prices and multi-tier pricing by retailers.
“Some supermarkets have taken advantage of these situations by increasing the prices of basic commodities by small amounts such as 1c, 2c, 3c to 40c and consumers are not able to notice the change,” CCZ said.
Because of the Avian flu that has struck Zimbabwe’s poultry market and also the banning of poultry from South Africa because of the same, CCZ said there has been a shortage of eggs in the market and some increase in poultry meat.
“We also assume that this has been the cause of the increase in prices of beef products,” it said.
The consumer watchdog encouraged consumers to shop conscientiously and to always buy certified products.
Where the products are not certified, consumers should exercise their right to information by carefully examining if the products they are purchasing are well-labelled, packaged and provided with vital information such as manufacturing and expiry dates and ingredients used in the make-up of the products.
The survey is conducted twice during the first and last week of every month. The total cost of the food basket and the price of each commodity are arrived at by averaging prices gathered from retail outlets throughout the country.