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Shortage of basic goods worrisome: CCZ
Nyakazeya, The Herald (Zimbabwe)
July 20, 2005
a report on the shortage of basic commodities, the consumer watchdog
said the supply of bread, flour, cooking oil, toothpaste, bath and
washing soaps, milk and mealie-meal had remained intermittent in
the last six months.
CCZ said manufacturers
of basic commodities interviewed attributed the current shortages
mainly to foreign currency constraints and viability problems, "which
has seen the majority of them working below 50 percent, and therefore
failing to meet the demand for goods".
the recent review of basic commodity prices, their supply remains
irregular. Last month all brands of locally produced laundry and
bath soap joined the long list of shortages, opening the floodgates
for imported products," CCZ said in the report.
Council said it observed that many producers were increasingly evading
controlled products by making sure they supplied the market with
expensive substitutes, which probably gave them better returns.
being witnessed in the bread, mealie-meal and flour industries where
producers now make more expensive bread and fancy cakes at the expense
of ordinary bread and super refined mealie-meal instead of roller
meal. In the flour industry, cake flour is more available than plain
we do not understand the rationale behind all this.
just make enough of what everybody eats. Strategies must be put
in place to make sure that production scales are tilted in favour
of the majority of people," said CCZ.
watchdog said from the survey, it appeared producers were not happy
with the prices of goods they were charging particularly those producing
controlled products, which partly explained the shortages.
are that for controlled commodities, when they are available many
retailers are not charging the gazetted prices with the exception
of some major retailers.
cause for great concern. But our main concern would probably be
on monitoring goods, while the CCZ appreciates that these are not
controlled products, it is perturbed by industry's resolve to increase
prices without any form of consultation and notification to consumers,"
further increases were said to be before the Ministry of Industry
and International Trade.
The only agreement
to increase price guidelines was made in May when some price guidelines
were agreed to. The report said no one had really observed the agreement
and continued to charge "unjustified prices".
and retailers are just charging prices as they deem fit. If you
confront some of them over incessant increase they argue that it
is because their suppliers had increased prices. This means that
business is dialoguing in bad faith.
are not being truthful to each other, and for as long the situation
remains like that, the economic turnaround will be a mirage, because
people are not genuinely supporting it," the report said.
CCZ said it was worried about the shortage of foreign currency,
questioning how retailers were managing to stock their shops with
not against international trade, it encourages intra-country trade
because this promotes competitiveness and choice for consumers,
but something is wrong somewhere and needs to be checked,"
the report said.
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