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Millers to halt supplies to overcharging retailers

Bulawayo Correspondent


MILLING companies will no longer supply shops and other retail outlets caught overcharging on basic commodities produced by members of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ).

This was said by GMAZ Ethics and Compliance committee chairperson, Alvin Muparutsa soon after the group oversaw a price monitoring exercise in Bulawayo this past week.

GMAZ is a voluntary organisation which represents the interests of local large, medium and small scale millers.

It supplies basic commodities such as mealie-meal, flour, salt, samp and rice.

Muparutsa also warned overcharging millers they risked being blacklisted and stopped from acquiring cheap maize and other commodities from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

“As GMAZ, we would like to urge all our stakeholders including millers and shop owners to adhere to the recommended price models we agreed in our memorandum of understanding,” Muparutsa said.

“When we receive a report that there is a certain retailer who is overcharging, we will engage the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers and ask them to reprimand their member in order to comply with what we have agreed upon in our MU.

“Failure to comply, GMAZ will force its members to withdraw supplies to that particular shop owner.”

Muparutsa said the millers group was in the process of compiling and analysing information gathered by its price monitoring teams throughout the country.

“We will only know which shops are in the habit of arbitrarily increasing prices after compiling all the information,” he said.

“The outcome of the process will be made public. We have also extended the exercise to the 15th of July because we still have a lot of ground to cover,” he said.

Muparutsa, who was accompanied by GMAZ’s vice chairperson Masimba Dzomba commended most Bulawayo shops for sticking to the recommended prices.

“Most shops we visited in Bulawayo were complying on most of our products. In some cases, prices are even lower that the recommended prices,” he said.

The move by GMAZ to embark on a price monitoring exercise comes as prices of goods and services continue to skyrocket in the country with most goods now pegged at a value equivalent to the prevailing black market rate of the US dollar.