By Thandiwe Garusa
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has threatened to revoke trading licences from retailers who have ignored his government’s directive to reduce prices of roller-meal, calling those who maintained the old prices “fools”.
Last month, the government ordered a blanket reduction in roller-meal prices to $50 per 10kg bag of the staple after promising to give subsidised grain to millers.
However, during his month clean-up campaign in Kuwadzana, Harare Friday, Mnangagwa heard from residents that the price of roller-meal had remained pegged at more than $100 for 10kg.
“Roller-meal is now pegged at $105 as I heard, but we said mealie-meal prices must go down to $50,” Mnangagwa told residents.
“If there are crooks, businessmen who don’t listen to the government because we give them subsidies and they can’t benefit twice, misoro yavo (damn them). We will have laws that deal with fools who don’t listen.
“We will reach a stage where we will withdraw licences of those who do not listen and they stay at home,” said Mnangagwa.
“We will have laws which deal with fools who don’t listen. Basic commodities like sugar, mealie meal, salt, soap, cooking oil, bread, must be cheap. We have reintroduced a subsidy on roller meal so it means if the price had risen to $100 it would cost you $50 and we will pay the other $50,” he said.
“If there are unscrupulous businesses that are still overcharging, we will revoke their licences. We have seven products that we have identified and will also be subsidised and these include cooking oil, salt, sugar, rice, maize meal, bread and soap. We will soon be rolling out these under the Silo brand.”