Price monitors deployed

Retailers and grain millers have embarked on an initiative to regulate mark-ups for basic commodities in a bid to cushion consumers from the skyrocketing prices.

This initiative is set to assist in regulating prices for five basic commodities, namely flour, salt, sugar, mealie-meal and soya beans.

Failure to adhere to the agreed mark-up would see retailers who do not comply blacklisted and goods withdrawn.

The agreed mark ups for the five key products, which are a necessity in each household – mealie meal is 10 percent, rice 17 percent, self-raising flour 17 percent, salt 10 percent and sugar beans 17 percent.

The development comes at a timely moment when retailers are selling products at exorbitant prices due to the ever-escalating inflation.

Price monitors will be working with representatives from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) and Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) effective Monday, where they will be going round retail shops checking if prices of these five basic products are sold at the agreed price.

Founder and president of Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Denford Mutashu told CITE in an interview that several price monitors have been dispatched already and more will be dispatched as the week progresses.

Mutashu said a review will be done by the end of the week to assess if the initiative is being adhered to.

“We are specifically monitoring the mark-up being factored in by retailers. In some areas we have already dispatched personnel to make rounds. We shall continue to dispatch more people as the week progresses. By the end of the week we will compile our findings and asses if the retailers are adhering to the initiative,” said Mutashu.

This development is expected to provide relief to low earning households to be able to afford basic commodities.

Last week, during a retailers and millers meeting held in Bulawayo, Grain Millers Association Tafadzwa Musarara said this initiative would be effective in curbing incidences that happened in 2005 and 2006 where the government dictated prices for the commodities.

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