Relief for hard-pressed Zimbabweans as prices of basic commodities go down (SEE NEW PRICES)


Prices of basic commodities such as maize-meal, flour and salt have been reduced in Zimbabwe after high-level consultations between the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) and monetary authorities. In a circular to members of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, the Retailers Association of Zimbabwe, wholesalers and other sellers of basic commodities, GMAZ national chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara said the price reductions are aimed at protecting consumers.

According to the circular, a 10kg bag of roller meal now costs $27 593 or US$5, while the price of a 2kg packet of self-raising flour is now pegged at $11 547 or US$2,10. The price of a 500g packet of fine salt has also been slashed to $1 374 or US$0,25. This move comes after the Zimbabwe dollar continued to strengthen on both the official and black markets, leading to a review of the subsisting stabilisation in the economy.

The Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) has now begun conducting weekly price surveys to gauge the market’s response to the firming local currency. Prices of basic goods rose sharply last month after the Zimbabwe dollar suffered heavy losses, but despite the local unit making substantial gains on both the official and black markets over the last month, most retailers had maintained the same prices, which officials believe is a form of price manipulation.

The Zimdollar has strengthened considerably over the last month to trade at US$1:$4 537 last week, from US$1:$6 713 on June 16. While no businesses have been fined yet, the CPC continues to urge retailers to abide by the law. CZR president Denford Mutashu said that there is a need to continue improving the doing business environment to place the economy on a firm footing.

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