Stop punishing the consumer

Source: Stop punishing the consumer – DailyNews Live

26 January 2017

HARARE – Recent price hikes on basic food commodities and fuel are not
only diabolic but also unjustified on the hard-pressed consumer.

A month-long survey by this paper revealed that profiteering mentality
still exists among most retailers in the country as it seems it is only in
Zimbabwe where prices of basic commodities go up without any justification
or explanation.

The average price of two litres of cooking oil rose from an average of
$3,00 in May last year to $3,50 this week.

Two kg of chicken now costs nearly $7 from an average of $5 less than
three months ago while one kg of economy beef rose to nearly $6,50 from

What gripes the majority of long-suffering Zimbabweans is the fact the
country has been in deflation for the past two years and yet local
companies – who clamoured to be protected against cheap imports – find it
prudent to hike prices.

The rate of food price increases in the last two months alone is making
life increasingly difficult for the millions of families already
struggling to make ends meet under the weight of rentals, energy costs,
taxes, interest rates and school fees at the expense of profiteering.

It is our firm conviction that some of the more recent price rises are not
justified as some supermarkets and manufactures are clearly profiteering
as figures show that food prices have gone up far faster than can be

Profiteering happens when people make inappropriate margins along
distribution system.

The priority for supermarkets is to get the appropriate stock on and off
their shelves as fast as possible and increasing prices is not part of the

As such, retail outlets and local manufacturers need to explain to
consumers why prices of goods have gone up when major inflation drivers
had been stable for a long time.

We would like to urge the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and the
long-forgotten National Prices and Income Commission to closely monitor
the situation, control the undeclared monopoly, take corrective measures,
arrest any cartelisation, particularly in cooking oil, milk and meat
products, and mitigate any expected rise in prices of pulses.

Industry minister Mike Bimha should not hesitate to quickly review the
import restriction list and call the profiteering firms to order.

When Bimha introduced Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, industry was quick
to assure the nation that there would not be any price increases.

So where are the basic commodities price hikes coming from?

What has changed in the economy in the last six months to warrant such
price increases?


  • comment-avatar
    Morty Smith 5 years ago

    Zanunomics in action

  • comment-avatar
    Mazano Rewayi 5 years ago

    We villagers think it is the bond notes. As we now pay part US part BN, the US available to the retailers is now less so they increase prices to make up. 40% increase in 3 months, so by January 2018 maybe 160%. As the “business people” are also the politicians expect no reprieve from government. 2008 all over again.

  • comment-avatar
    Ngoto Zimbwa 5 years ago

    “”So where are the basic commodities price hikes coming from?
    What has changed in the economy in the last six months to warrant such
    price increases?””….

    Who writes this garbage?
    Have they actually been following the Zimbabwe story, especially the last six months?
    The above comments say it all.