Govt, Consumer Watchdog To Assess Price Freeze Compliance
Officials from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe are currently assessing the cost of basic goods in retail shops following a price freeze announced by the government.
A recent government directive did not only order a price freeze but also directed manufacturers and retailers to revert to price levels that existed as at March 25, just before the coronavirus national lockdown.
Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza said her ministry will reveal what will be done to retailers that have ignored the price moratorium as soon as the teams have completed their assessments. She said:
We agreed in good faith with the businesses that during the lockdown prices should come down to March 25 levels.
We reached this understanding in order to protect the consumer while also taking in the views of the retailers and manufacturers.
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We have a task force from our ministry as well as another team from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe and these are on the ground to monitor what is happening in the shops.
When they are done with the monitoring, we will then make an assessment of their reports before announcing the next steps.
Last 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.