Family Food Basket Now Incalculable - CCZ
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has failed to calculate the price of the family food basket for the month of June due to incessant price increases.
In May, CCZ said a family of five required $120 000 a month to survive, but inflation climbed to 191.7% in June from 131.7% in May.
Speaking to NewsDay, CCZ spokesperson Christopher Kamba said the price of the family basket will be out probably by the end of this week. Said Kamba:
We have not yet finalised the price of the family basket for this month because prices are ever-changing.
We are expecting to come up with the price of the family basket probably by the end of this week.
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People are not in compliance with the market rate. People are using their own desired foreign currency exchange rates.
We have not seen much enforcement of the interbank rate. The laws are there, the policies are there, but enforcement is lacking.
Last week, the Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 118A of 2022 which made the interbank exchange rate the sole exchange rate to be used in commercial and other transactions.
Under the law, retailers are prohibited from selling goods at exchange rates above 10% of the prevailing interbank rate, with those violating the ban liable to a fine of up to $20 million.
Meanwhile, Economist Sydick Muradzikwa suggested that there could be other reasons behind CCC’s failure to reveal the family food basket for June. He said:
Without the family basket, it becomes difficult for trade unions and the Apex Council to advocate for adequate wages or poverty-datum line wages with quantitative evidence.
The failure by the CCZ to cost the family basket is not a result of their incompetence; rather it could be a calculated nefarious agenda by government authorities to avoid the calculation and publication of the family basket for the month of June.
Clearly, it is part of security measures to contain disgruntlement among civil servants and a series of strikes that are currently looming.