Gweru shops stick to old mealie-meal prices

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

GWERU retail shops have not slashed prices of mealie-meal following a deal on subsidies entered between grain millers and government last week.

In a statement on Sunday, Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) chairperson Tafadzwa Musarara (pictured) said he had directed wholesalers and retailers to switch to the new mealie-meal price of not more than $50 per 10kg of roller meal.

The statement read: “The price reduction exercise on roller meal, pursuant to the newly introduced roller meal subsidy is now ongoing nationwide, albeit on fast track basis. We are requesting wholesalers and retailers nationwide to contact their respective millers who supplied them with the roller meal products, obtain credit notes on the current invoices, obtain new invoices at maximum prices of $45 per 10kg and sell at the maximum retail prices of $50 per 10kg.

“The prices of other pack sizes (5kg and 20kg) should be calculated pro-rata. These prices must be applied in all shops by 3pm this Sunday, December 8, 2019.”

However, a snap survey in Gweru yesterday, revealed that most major supermarkets were still selling the basic commodity at $185 for a 20kg pack though they did not have smaller packages like 5kg and 10kg.

Consumers who spoke to Southern Eye said they were saddened by the development.

“We have been visiting the supermarkets banking on the announcements that the mealie-meal prices have been slashed. However, up to now we are still seeing no change. It is squeezing our budgets that are already strained due to the bad economy,” Matilda Gumbo (33) said.

GMAZ spokesperson Garikai Chaunza said his organisation only represented millers and could, therefore, not comment on issues regarding wholesalers and retailers. He also revealed that his organisation had stopped monitoring prices of grain products.

Contacted for comment, Zimbabwe Retailers Association of Zimbabwe president Denford Mutashu said the retail shops were clearing old stock.

“What is reduced and has been subsidised is new stocks coming through from suppliers. Those with old stocks have to clear what they received prior to the directive,” he said.

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