By Martin Mawaya
Gweru has been plunged into prize madness as most retail supermarkets increased prices of basic commodities soon after the government announced the salaries of the civil servants.
The government has announced the 50% salary increase coupled with US$75 Covid-19 allowances across the board which was immediately rejected by civil servants saying the adjustment is too little considering the levels of the poverty datum lime which is above $7 000 and the current spiraling inflation rate.
In a snap survey carried out by this publication, most of the shops increased prices of basic goods such as cooking oil, sugar, salt, flour and rice among other commodities.
The cost of 2kg sugar has been increased from $127 to between $215 to $280, 2kg Gloria flour now cost $199 from $109, 2litres of cooking oil is being charged for $259 from $185 while the 2kg of rice cost between $159 and $264.
Speaking to this reporter, most civil servants said they are no longer able to make ends meet as the business wantonly adjusted their prices beyond their reach.
“The salary increase is not going to change our dire situation as most of the shops has increased prices of goods even before we received the increment.
“This tendency of announcing our salaries has negatively affected and eroded our income as the businesses quickly responds by hiking prices,” said Prince Moyo.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) Regional coordinator for Midlands Chiedza Harunashe (Pictured) argued the government to stop announcing the civil servants salaries and make sure they strike a balance between pricing of goods and salaries.
“We want to encourage the government to stop publicizing the civil servants salaries so that we stop the prizing speculation from the businesses as this has been eroding workers income before they even receive the salary adjustments.
She said the government should put in place mechanisms to protect consumers
“The government should protect the consumers from unjustified increases by putting in place a proper framework that jealously guards consumer’s rights to access to affordable basic needs,” she said.#The Sun