BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa admitted that the country is experiencing a food price hike crisis, but blamed it on saboteurs and supply chain monopolies.
Addressing scores of Zanu PF supporters at Murewa centre, Mnangagwa promised villagers that his administration would deal with the food crisis.
“I know you are suffering because of price issues, especially in the food sector. They are doing this to sabotage us; they want you to turn against us. This is because we have few companies and they monopolise the food sector.”
“As government we are doing much to break this monopoly, especially on the supply side. One of the remedies is to suspend import duty on basic goods,” he added as the villagers interjected saying they were really feeling the pinch of the country’s economic hardships.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing massive food shortages coupled with frequent price increases and a poor 2021/22 agricultural season due to low rainfall.
Prices of basic commodities like bread and other foodstuffs have gone beyond the reach of many. Bread now costs as much as $945.
Mnangagwa promised that the bread price issue will be solved soon because the country will be producing enough wheat.
“We found out that we need 470 000 metric tonnes of wheat in this country per year. We used to produce wheat that would last for two months while importing the rest. We then came up with ideas to increase wheat productivity, and our wheat is now lasting us 11 months, hence the remainder is imported. We are going to have wheat that lasts us 13 months next month. It will be sufficient, hence bread prices will go down,” he said.
Mnangagwa addressed the villagers soon after officially opening a Registrar-General’s office at Murewa centre, whose construction started about 17 years ago.
Promising the villagers free food handouts to deal with food insecurity, Mnangagwa said: “We had erratic rains in some areas this past season. We are aware that because of drought some areas are experiencing food shortages. We will liaise with your Minister of State in Mashonaland East (Aplonia Munzverengwi) and ensure that you will get free food (maize).”
He also added that the country would soon be harvesting enough maize due to interventions which saw the establishment of irrigation schemes to mitigate climate change effects.