THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has appealed to the government to suspend shop licensing laws and allow Bulawayo businesspeople to buy directly from them and act as middlemen, as retailers whose shops were looted last week are yet to restock.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI/DUDUZILE NDLUKULWANI
Zimbabwe witnessed widespread protests against a steep hike in prices of fuel and general economic decay, which turned into an orgy of looting after State security agents used excessive force to quash the riots.
Addressing journalists after touring milling companies in Bulawayo yesterday, GMAZ chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said they were failing to move stock after losing about $3 million worth of rice, mealie meal and salt, among other products, to looters. He said the loss was not insurable and GMAZ had to write off the debt, as their regular customers were technically bankrupt.
“We appeal to the minister for the shop licensing laws to be suspended for now, to allow any businessperson in Bulawayo to come and buy direct from us and they can do their mobile selling,” Musarara said.
“We have a challenge that this stock can’t move as fast as we want because the shops that used to buy are probably not in a hurry to restock.”
He said the country was food secure and was not importing maize as national stocks would go beyond August.