By Alois Vinga
BAKERS reduced bread prices from $2.20 to the normal $1.10 per loaf in under 2 hours after announcing the hiked prices following an intervention by the government.
Companies such as Lobels and Proton announced Friday that the new price would take effect the following day in notices that were widely circulated on social media.
However, a market investigation conducted by NewZimbabwe.com revealed that external pressures forced the bakers to revert to the old prices.
“I confirm that the prices had indeed been hiked and we were briefed to that effect today (Friday),” said a Lobels employee who asked not to be identified.
“However, within a short space of time we were then told that a new directive had forced the bakers to stick to the old prices pending investigations.
Efforts to get a comment from the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe president, Ngoni Mazango were fruitless.
“I am very busy my brother and I am not taking any comments from the media, goodbye,” he said when approached.
Industry minister Mangaliso Ndlovu however confirmed that he had asked the bakers to revert to old prices.
“The bakeries called me during the day today (Friday) to advise me of the development,” the minister told state media.
“I told them to hold on until we meet on Monday, that is my position. I want to believe they will adhere to the position l communicated to them.”
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said there was need to address the real problems being faced by retailers.
“We need to find solutions by locating the real sources of the problems,” he said.
“What we all need to admit is the fact that the separation of Foreign Currency Accounts from the RTGS accounts spelt the message that RTGS and bond notes are no longer worthwhile mediums of exchange.”
The retailers boss noted that business has been supportive of government efforts, but the prevailing economic situation is now a matter of survival as retailers risk closing shop.
He called for dialogue to solve the current problems.