THE government has completed an investigation on price increases and a report with recommendations has been submitted to Cabinet, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha has said.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Prices of basic commodities shot up last month, following messages on social media on the looming basic commodity shortages, triggering panic buying.
Speaking to reporters to Wednesday, Bimha said the report and recommendations were presented on Tuesday.
“I only presented to Cabinet yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) we had a lot of meetings. I need time to sort out the report.
“It is very dangerous to generalise, even some prices, which people said went up did not go up,” he said.
“Generally, these prices have been going down, but we still have some prices that have not gone back to pre-September 22.
“I think with the work we are doing we will get to a stage where we want our Consumer Council of Zimbabwe to publish recommended prices, so that consumers know that these are the prices such that when a consumer is in a shop they can say this is not the recommended price.”
Bimha said the government wanted the Competition and Tariff Commission to investigate some manufacturers of basic commodities to see if they are not engaging in anti-competitive tendencies.
Although Bimha declined to share findings of his ministry’s report until making an official press statement expected soon, his permanent secretary Abigail Shoniwa offered a picture of what they had found.
Earlier this month, Shoniwa told NewsDay that they found initial price hikes were between 50 and 100% in some cases.
Bimha said the team engaged wholesalers, retailers and producers. He said there was no need to bring in the police to ensure compliance expecting players to comply on their own.