By Robert Tapfumaneyi
THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) reports that some basic commodity prices in the country went down during the month of June this year.
The basic commodities considered include cooking oil, bread, washing powder, salt and flour.
According to CCZ, the monthly basket for a family of six increased to more than $14 000.
“The cost of living as measured by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe’s low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from the end of June figure of $13 026.17 to $14 256.98 by end-July 2020, showing an increase of $1230.81 or 9.45%,” CCZ said.
“The food basket increased by $1158.71 or 12.30% from $9 422.89 by end of June 2020 to $10 581.60 by end July 2020.
“The price of detergents increased by $72.10 or 7.70% from $936.78 to $1008.88.
“Generally, it shows that some basic commodity prices have increased and few have decreased.
“As CCZ, we assume that the increase in the total figure of the basket can be attributed to the influence of the parallel market on exchange rates, increase in fuel prices and limited supply of some basic products.”
CCZ went on to say that “The coronavirus lockdown and its related restrictions on movement of consumers and suppliers contributed to a further deterioration of the country’s production and to deepen the already severe food shortage, negative impact on increased food imports and transportation costs.”
Said the consumer rights watchdog, “Consumers are urged to always seek a fair deal on the marketplace by ensuring that their rights are observed, as well as reporting any anomalies on the marketplace.”
CCZ urged consumers to “shop conscientiously” and to always buy certified products.
“Where the products are not certified, to exercise their right to information by carefully examining if the products they are purchasing are well labelled, packaged and provided with vital information such as manufacturing and expiry dates and ingredients used in the make-up of the products.”