Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Vows Action Against Businesses Hiking Prices

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
18 October 2019

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed action against businesses which continue to hike their prices beyond the reach of poor locals.

This comes as prices of the staple bread surged from RTGS$10 to RTGS$16 this week.

Local businesses continue to peg prices according to the prevailing US dollar parallel market rates, arguing this was the most viable strategy to maintain their operations.

But President Mnangagwa sees nothing beyond sheer mischief by businesses operating in a volatile economy.

"Wherever I am going these days, people are complaining about the ever-increasing prices of basic commodities, saying you promised to whip such business into line. So where is that whip?

"As a father, you don't discipline your children every time they do something wrong, but just warn before taking any action.

"However, I think we have reached a point where action has to be taken because we don't see any reason why there is this continuous rise in prices."

Mnangagwa was speaking while addressing the first edition of the Rural District Councillors Meeting.

The President has since summoned business leaders to a crisis meeting next week with hopes to find ways of resolving "unwarranted price increases".

Government has maintained it will not impose price controls fearing a repeat of the 2007 scenario in which goods disappeared from supermarket shelves only to resurface on the black market with exorbitant prices with some sold in foreign currency.

While government has not been forthcoming with statistics, independent sources have put the country's inflation at above 500 percent.

The under-fire Zanu PF led government insists the tough economic situation in the country were signs of a recovering economy following decades of mismanagement by late former President Robert Mugabe's regime.

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