Consumers demand Gvt action against price hikes of basic goods

Staff Reporter

Consumers have voiced urgent calls for Government intervention against retailers exploiting the current change in currency to hike the prices of basic necessities.

A recent survey conducted by this publication has uncovered that numerous retailers are inflating prices, particularly of local goods.

Miriam Mlilo, a resident of Glen View 7, expressed her frustration over the situation.

 "Government needs to clamp down on these unscrupulous retailers who are fleecing us by hiking prices. A two-litre bottle of cooking oil, for instance, now costs ZIG55, which is roughly equivalent to US$4 based on the official exchange rate. It's exorbitant and unfair," Mlilo stated.

Adding to the outcry, Tendai Sarangwa of Sunningdale highlighted the uneven price surges between local and imported goods.

"It's disheartening to see that the prices of locally produced goods have skyrocketed, while imported items’ prices are stable. This clearly points to deliberate price manipulation by some retailers aiming to maximise profits during this currency transition period," Sarangwa remarked.

Amid growing concerns, the Consumer Rights Association of Zimbabwe (CRAZ) is pressing the Government for a robust response.

 "Government must act swiftly and decisively. We urge them to impose heavy fines on retailers caught overcharging and, if necessary, revoke their licenses. This blatant profiteering at the expense of ordinary Zimbabweans cannot be tolerated,” a CRAZ official asserted.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has also recognised the issue and pledged to take corrective measures.

The ministry has reportedly deployed inspectors across various retail outlets to monitor and ensure compliance with pricing regulations, echoing previous actions against illegal money dealers.

As the situation unfolds, consumers continue to advocate for transparency and fairness in pricing, urging the Government to safeguard their interests in the face of economic reforms.