PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa said he was disappointed by the behaviour of local manufacturers who abused laws meant to protect them from cheap imports, by holding the market at ransom.
Speaking at the commissioning of a $7 million ProDairy milk processing plant in Ruwa, Mnangagwa said his government had to suspend the Statutory Instrument (SI) 122 due to mischief by manufacturers, who had withheld their products to push prices up.
He said SI 64, which was replaced by SI 122, was his brainchild and was meant to encourage and capacitate manufacturers.
“I was greatly disappointed three weeks ago when some of the manufacturers were now hoarding and not releasing products to the consumers. This is why I have now moved to remove SI 122 to allow, temporally, the inflow of some of these goods,” Mnangagwa said.
He warned manufacturers against ambushing government with price hikes and withholding goods, and called on them to work to help improve the economy.
“If there is need to look at the cost drivers in your products, it should be done properly, have dialogue with the markets and everybody will sleep happy, no ambushes, the war finished in 1980. That’s when we had ambushes, no more ambushes,” he said.
The ProDairy plant employs 175 workers.
“This is a commendable response by ProDairy to my government’s thrust towards value addition and beneficiation of local resources. It is our hope that the company’s products will enter the domestic market at favourable prices, thereby, widening consumer choice,” he said.