The Sunday Mail
Diversified media group Zimpapers will this week host a breakfast meeting on consumer prices, headlined by Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Dr Bimha.
The meeting is themed “Unpacking the Pricing Conundrum”, and manufacturers, retailers, business leaders, economists, service providers and senior Government officials will participate at the April 12 event.
Zimpapers group corporate events manager Miss Jackie Kathemba said, “The response from the market has been good and we should be fully subscribed early in the week. There has been a lot of speculation on the market over the pricing issue and this is an opportunity for all stakeholders to hear it from the horse’s mouth, that is Government.
“This will also allow people to talk about what is driving the price instability that has affected the market and what Government is doing to resolve it,” Miss Kathemba said.
Since last year, Zimbabweans have had to contend with price hikes that many say are unjustified.
Importers say the cost of foreign currency is high, which has triggered increases in the costs of production and services provision.
It is estimated that about 60 percent of raw materials and merchandise for local industries are imported, mainly from South Africa.
This, coupled with cash shortages and low nostro balances has created space for unscrupulous retailers to adopt a multi-tier pricing system for cash, RTGS and mobile money payments.
Government has moved in to stabilise prices as part of efforts to protect consumers while ensuring the viability for industries.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has indicated it is taking measures to criminalise use of a multi-tier pricing system. Miss Kathemba said while Government had made efforts to normalise the pricing regime and cushion industry against high production costs, there was need for further dialogue between all stakeholders to chart a sustainable way forward, hence the Zimpapers Breakfast Meeting on consumer prices.
“This will also create awareness among all stakeholders on what Government is doing to address the challenge,” she added.