Consumer Watchdog Backs 'Price Controls'
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has applauded the government’s decision to freeze prices of essential goods at levels that were obtaining on March 25.
Business organisations, among them, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR), the Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe (OEAZ), the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), and the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) all said they supported the moratorium.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe southern region manager Comfort Muchekeza said that the latest policy on price controls was different from the one adopted in the mid-2000s which caused mayhem in the economy. Muchekeza said:
Unlike in 2006-2007 where it was not negotiated, as the Government just came up with that decision, I understand even the business community, the manufacturers and retailers sat down and agreed on the pricing this time.
As we have been saying, there were no fundamentals that necessitated price increases save for speculation since the people know that we are in lockdown.
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On Wednesday, Vice President Kembo Mohadi announced that prices of basic foodstuffs – including maize-meal, rice, cooking oil, sugar, salt, flour and bread — will revert to the levels of March 25, just before the lockdown.
The announcement followed a multi-sectoral stakeholders agreement on the price freeze and a Cabinet decision of April 21.