New Zimbabwe.com

Shops defy government, increase prices

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


PRICES of basic commodities within local supermarkets continue to increase in defiance of a government, retailers moratorium for a return to prices that were being charged before the country went on a lockdown against the spread of Covid-19 late last month.

The increases also include alcohol prices.

Vice President Kembo Mohadi last week Wednesday said government and the private sector had agreed to slash prices to March 25 levels with immediate effect.

On Monday, top brewer, Delta Corporation Limited raised the price of beer by almost 70 percent.

The price of a 660ml green bottle is now $60, up from $47 while brown bottle of the same quantity was raised from $35 to $50.

A snap survey carried out by NewZimbabwe.com in Bulawayo also established that prices of other commodities had also increased.

Some products such as cooking oil and sugar were in short supply.

At one retail outlet, a 2kg packet of sugar is now selling for $100, up from $67. The shop was only limiting to only two packets per customer.

“I rushed to town this morning anticipating that prices of basic commodities have been reduced as announced by the government. I was very disappointed because, to the contrary, the prices have actually gone up,” said Nomvula Moyo, a Magwegwe resident.

Another resident, Timothy Sigauke said he also got the shock of his life when he travelled to the CBD on Monday to find prices had gone up instead.

“It was better if the government had not announced the so-called price reduction.

“We came here in morning hoping to buy cheap basic commodities, but the prices have instead gone up.

“During the start of the lockdown, I bought a 2kg packet of rice at $60 but today it is priced at $140. I cannot afford that, worse still, this month I was not paid because of the lockdown,” said Sigauke.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu could not be reached for comment.