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Zimbabwe's Top Business Body Says Recent Maize Meal, Cooking Oil Price Increases Unjustifiable

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry President Joseph Kanyekanye said President Mugabe should appoint a minister to work hand in hand with his organization to monitor prices of basic commodities

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries which lobbied for the re-introduction of import duties on maize meal and cooking oil, has protested what it calls unjustified increases in the prices of the key commodities by local makers unaffected by the tariff renewal.

CZI President Joseph Kanyekanye told Zimbabwe’s Daily News that local makers are profiteering and should consider lowering their prices.

Kanyekanye said President Robert Mugabe should appoint a minister to work hand in hand with CZI in monitoring prices of basic commodities.

Prices of maize meal and cooking oil have surged following the reintroduction of import duties, which Finance Minister Tendai Biti said would boost local competitiveness.

Matabeleland Chamber of Commerce President Isaac Mabuka said the CZI lacks the authority to force manufacturers to cut prices.

Economist Tony Hawkins agreed, saying the CZI and the government should not interfere with prices of goods in Zimbabwe’s free market economy.