Story by Davison Vandira
BUSINESS operators’ insincerity to hike prices of basic commodities has been exposed with revelations that many are harvesting from a facility that allocates a weekly average of US$20 million from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s foreign currency auction.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, 80 percent of the country’s supermarket shelves are currently being dominated by local products, a development which has been corroborated by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries manufacturing survey reports.
Zimbabwe is witnessing a price increase madness especially of basic commodities in the local currency despite the same accessing foreign currency at official rates thereby creating a paradox that needs urgent government intervention.
It is in this regard that economic analysts have questioned the sincerity of the business owners who are now taking the auction platform as an arbitrage source of the greenback.
“The Foreign Auction System was introduced for a noble reason and due to profiteering tendencies by our business community the good initiative is now being abused at the expense of the whole economy,” said development economist, Mr Paison Tazvivinga.
“The current price madness for goods and services being charged in the domestic currency has many causes and what is now needed is to have the Auction system streamlined or discontinued as manufacturers are just cashing in on this platform without the benefits cascading to the rest of the economy,” said economic analyst, Mr Kudakwashe Mugova.
The government is already seized with the irrational and unjust price increases being experienced by consumers and necessary measures are being instituted to redress the situation.