SENIOR STAFF WRITER
ZANU PF yesterday expressed concern over what it termed a shock escalation of prices of goods and services and blamed unscrupulous business entities taking advantage of the current Covid-19 lockdown.
This comes as prices of mostly basic commodities have recently gone up at a time the economy has been enjoying some stability for almost six months.
For instance, a two-litre bottle of cooking oil, which was selling at around $254 had gone up sharply to $340, while a 2kg packet of rice now retails at $241 from $202.
The price of sugar has also gone up from $180 per 2kg to $ 212, with 10kg of mealie-meal now selling at over $600, from $469.
However, industrialists and retailers are blaming the increases on the impact of Covid-19 lockdown that slowed the importation of goods and raw materials, resulting in costs going up.
The hike is also said to be a result of fuel prices which were recently increased by Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority.
But in a sharply-worded statement yesterday, Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo warned the business community to trade ethically without taking advantage of the pandemic.
“The revolutionary Zanu PF party is concerned by the recent spike of cost of goods and services, particularly basic commodities,” Moyo said.
“Such a development has no grounding in basic economics. It is merely a manifestation of greed in some of our business entities.
“Surely, this practice weighs heavily on the poor and must be nipped in the bud. Certainly the ordinary citizen needs protection.
“With Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the country, empathy should be at play in our daily relations. The deadly pandemic has not spared our economy hence the need to take care of each other.
“The World Health Organisation protocols relevant to this virus and ministry of Health and Child Care regulations must be observed religiously. We are indeed all endangered species. Times are hard — very hard.
“There is, therefore, no need for unscrupulous and speculative behaviour which has led to this situation, soaring prices. The party is, therefore, appealing to the business community to conduct their business ethically. Love thy neighbour. Together we shall fulfill the ideals of the vision 2030 as often spelt out by His Excellency the President Emmerson D Mnangagwa.”
All this comes as the government is seized with efforts to secure vaccines to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, the government extended the current lockdown by two weeks as it continues the battle to stop the spread of the pandemic.