By Martin Mawaya
Most retail shops in Gweru has increased their prices of basic commodities in United States dollars (USD) after the government extended the US$75 civil servants covid-19 allowances up to December this year.
In a snap survey by this publication, prices of goods such as flour, cooking oil, rice, washing soap and mazoe has marginally hiked in shops that accept civil servants to dispose their covid-19 allowances through bank transfers.
The 2ltrs cooking oil is now cost between USD2.75 to USD3 from USD2.50, 2kg flour is charged USD2.05 from USD1.50, 2kg rice is pegged between USD1.99 to USD2. 60 from USD1. 50.
Washing soap costs between USD1. 15 to USD1. 38 from USD0.85, with the 2ltrs Mazoe going for USD2.29 from USD1. 75.
A resident from Ascot extension Steven Kuzonyei castigated some retail shops who are wantonly increased prices of basic commodities in USD despite the stability of the United States dollars.
“It is common knowledge that the US dollar is strong and hence there is no justification in hiking the prices in US dollar currency.
” The government has announced that the prices are stable since the central bank took raft measures to contain the myraid increase of prices .I therefore don’t know what criteria are these shops use to adjust their prices,” queried Kuzonyei.
In an interview with this reporter, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu said they are ” awaiting for weekly price survey from all regions across the country.
“We are also working on a robust program to register all informal players in our sector and level the playing field,” said Mutashu.
He said most of the retailers have since complied with the official exchange rate in pricing.
The USD price hike of basic goods is set to burden parents who are preparing for the re-opening of schools after a long induced lockdown due to coronavirus.