THE price of bread has gone up to $2,50 from $1,40 with millers saying the increase is not associated with the cost of flour as the price of the product has remained constant.
Yesterday, bread, which has been in short supply in the country over the past few weeks, was being sold for $2,50 per loaf at most outlets in Bulawayo. However, some supermarkets that bake bread as well as small bakeries were selling it at $2 per loaf.
Baker’s Inn was giving its customers the option to buy in US$0,70 per loaf, while demanding $2,50 per loaf for those paying in bond notes.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said even though the bread price has been increased, the price of flour has remained unchanged.
“The GMAZ has noted the recent increase in bread prices. These bread price increases are however not in any way associated with flour cost drivers as the product (flour) supply price to bakers has remained constant,” he said.
“Flour supply to bakers has, however remained suppressed due to the non-availability of foreign currency to bring in imported wheat which is still held in Beira.”
Industry and Commerce Minister Cde Nqobizitha Ndlovu said he had not expected the price to go up adding he would comment more substantively today.
“I’m in remote areas. I don’t know that the price of bread has gone up. I’ve just heard rumours on that. I wasn’t expecting it to go up,” said Cde Ndlovu.
Members of public who spoke to The Chronicle said Government should intervene.
“The cost of living continues to go up. Today it’s bread that has gone up but tomorrow it would probably be something else. We appeal to Government to come up with measures that would ease the burden. Some of us have big families. We need more than one loaf and the new price means we won’t be able to buy bread,” said Mrs Monica Njiva.
The bread price hike comes at a time when Government has revealed that it is working on safety nets to cushion citizens against price distortions on basic commodities.
Addressing a Zanu-PF Thank-You Rally in Mt Darwin in Mashonaland Central on Saturday, Vice President Kembo Mohadi, said the Government will take care of its citizens.
“Basic commodities like cooking oil, sugar, salt, rice, mealie-meal, milk and flour; the prices are being looked into so that they become affordable to the generality of the public.
“Government is equally putting in place loan facilities for retailers who will maintain cheap prices. These will be supported by Government to make sure that their prices remain low,” said VP Mohadi.
“As Government, we are engaged with industry for a more stable price regime. We are seized with this matter.
“We are a Government that is responsive to the people’s needs. We are concerned with overcharging of goods and the constant hikes of prices of basic commodities.
“We understand the struggles that you are facing and we will step in with corrective measures.”