Walter Mswazie, Business Correspondent
THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) leadership in Masvingo has urged consumers to boycott businesses that wantonly increase prices in apparent response to the outlawing of foreign currency on local transactions.
Through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019, Government last week announced that it was abandoning all local transactions in foreign currency and every business in the country would be conducted in the Zimbabwean dollar.
CCZ provincial chairman Mr Prosper Muzambi said it was disheartening to note that some unscrupulous businesspeople had decided to punish innocent consumers by unjustifiably increasing prices to unprecedented levels.
He said the most disturbing thing was that, this was happening in Masvingo when news filtering from other cities suggested that prices on some basic commodities were falling in response to currency reforms.
“I think it is time for consumers to resist unreasonable price increases.
“Real economics of supply and demand should be at play.
“The unscrupulous traders will price themselves out of business as consumers start to look for a fair value,” said Mr Muzambi.
He said it was expected that prices would decrease in response to consumers’ compromised spending power.
“Given the fact that people’s salaries are not increasing, the spending power of consumers will obviously decrease and this by right should see prices decreasing.
“The new currency regime is meant to bring working order to the market and it is incumbent on the businesspeople to respond accordingly instead of punishing consumers,” said Mr Muzambi.
He underscored the need for businesspeople in Masvingo to consider the plight of consumers who were subjected to depletion of disposal incomes by pegging their stock at affordable prices.
The local currency is now the only legal tender and means of exchange in the country with those carrying foreign currency free to trade it at the bank.
“It is disturbing, especially considering that media reports have confirmed that prices of basic commodities in some cities have started falling.
“We call upon Masvingo businesses to follow suit,” he said. — @walterbmswazie2