Price reductions excite consumers

Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) national chairperson, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara

Consumers have said they are happy with the move by millers and retailers to reduce the prices of mealie-meal and flour in response to the strengthening Zimbabwe dollar.

The weakening of the local currency last month was cited as a major cost driver, which saw a spike in prices of basic commodities. 

The tumbling of prices of basic commodities now is as a result of the Zimdollar strengthening against the United States dollar. Since June 27, the local currency has gained  31 percent against the US dollar.

The economic stabilisation measures introduced by the Government has seen the value of the local currency appreciating hence the reduction of prices. 

Yesterday the Zimdollar was trading at $4 505 against the US dollar on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Wholesale foreign currency auction

Government’s right mix of policies to arrest the runaway exchange rate madness are yielding positive results. 

At the rate that the country is going, the upper middle-income status will be achieved way before 2030.

Unlike in the past when some rogue elements would manipulate the exchange rate with prices skyrocketing each time civil servants got a pay rise, Government has now nipped that in the bud. 

Over the past few weeks, prices of basic commodities at most retail outlets have dropped by as much as five percent and indications are that this trend is likely to continue in response to the firming of the Zimbabwe dollar.

A five kilogramme packet of roller meal is now selling for $15  946. or US$2,90 down from about $25 000, while 10 kg is now $27 593. or US$4. A 20 kg packet is selling for $52 237 or US$9,50.

The price of a 2kg packet of self-raising flour is now $11 547 or US$2,10 while the price of a 500 grammes packet of fine salt is now $1 374.or US$0.25,.

Last month, the prices had doubled.

Mr Macdonald Sita of Mkoba 16 suburb in Gweru said he is happy with the way the millers and retailers are reducing prices in response to the strengthening Zimdollar.

“I am grateful to Government for putting in place measures to protect ordinary people who have been at the mercy of retailers. It shows that we are going somewhere as a country and I would like to commend President  Mnangagwa for standing with his people and making sure that basic goods remain affordable,” he said. 

Mr Tasara Ziyambi

Mr Tasara Ziyambi of Mkoba 14 suburb echoed the same sentiments saying prices of basics were at one time beyond the reach of many consumers.

“It was an unfortunate period when prices of basic commodities were just increasing. We were actually getting worried with the way the price of mealie-meal and cooking oil were increasing,” he said.

“We are now relieved with this latest development which has seen the prices going down.”

Gogo Bhebhe, a vendor operating in the city centre said she is optimistic that the prices will continue to fall.

“I am happy that as an ordinary citizen I am now able to buy 10kg of mealie meal at an affordable price unlike in the past when we would buy the same commodity almost double the price,” she said.

“Recently it was about US$7 and we commend the Government for putting in place measures that are protecting us.”

Gogo Bhebhe

Another resident Mr Andrew Zinyamba said he would be happier to see prices of basics being reduced further.

“We would be happier if the prices continue falling. This shows that the Second Republic has put in place the right corrective measures that have restored sanity in the market,” he said.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) national chairperson, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara on Tuesday said the price reductions of mealie meal, flour and salt were made following high level deliberations aimed at protecting consumers.

He said the price reductions are with immediate effect in a circular to members of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Retailers Association of Zimbabwe, wholesalers and other retailers of basic commodities.

Mr Musarara said the stabilisation of the local currency must show a corresponding decrease in prices of basic commodities.

 “Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe recently held successful high level deliberations with the monetary authorities and, inter alia, reviewed the subsisting stabilisation in the economy precipitated by the firming of the local currency against major currencies,” he said. 

Mr Musarara said the prevailing stable environment was, regrettably, preceded by a few weeks of price madness that invariably affected basic commodities leaving consumers’ disposable incomes gravely eroded.

 “It is uncontroverted, therefore, that the current stabilisation must show a corresponding decrease in prices of basic commodities.”

The Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) last week said some retail outlets reduced prices of basic grocery items by as much as five percent in response to the continued firming of the Zimbabwe dollar.

The impressive performance of the Zimbabwe dollar attests to the increased demand of the local currency to settle fees and levies  in line with Treasury’s recent policy measures.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) this week offered US$20 million to be auctioned and bids valued at US$14,4 million were accepted with just US$7,9 million allotted thereby confirming the declining demand for the US$.

Data available from the RBZ show that since June 29, the Zimbabwe dollar has firmed an aggregate 28,2 percent to date and the run is expected to continue as the cocktail  of  measures jointly implemented by Treasury and the RBZ are bearing fruit.


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