HARARE, ZIMBABWE —
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa is not oblivious to the “profiteering” by some of the country’s retailers, sellers and manufacturers, who have hiked up prices of various commodities, making them unaffordable to many citizens.
Speaking to reporters at State House Thursday, following the swearing in of Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, Mnangagwa, who took a few questions from reporters, told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that he is concerned by what is happening.
“We are very concerned as government about the general rise in prices on the market,” Mnangagwa said, adding that he has already addressed the issues with Industry Minister Michael Bimha.
“I had a meeting yesterday with the Minister of Industry, Dr. [Michael] Bimha to call the manufactures, the sellers and retailers and discuss with them.”
Zimbabweans have been complaining about the hike in prices from day to day items such as sugar and bread, to fuel and other commodities, and accuse suppliers and sellers of taking advantage of consumers during the festive season.
Mnangagwa questioned the price differences for the same product being sold by various retailers, and urged them to be more humane in their business and refrain from profiteering. He said government does not want to be forced to legislate prices of goods and commodities, so suppliers must practice fairness.
“We don’t think it is good to go for legislation, to legislate against prices. We need to come to an understanding and have people in these categories appreciate where we are coming, where we want to go and they must have a human face, they mustn’t be profiteering because in some cases you find the same article is sold at this price in this shop, different price in another shop – why should be the difference be 15-20% of one item,” queried Mr. Mnangagwa, while indicating that he will not let this situation persist. “We have to interrogate such issues,” he concluded.