President to act on illegal price hikes

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, who returned from the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, are joined by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in greeting zanu-pf supporters at Harare International Airport. —(Picture by John Manzongo)

President Mugabe and First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, who returned from the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday, are joined by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in greeting zanu-pf supporters at Harare International Airport. —(Picture by John Manzongo)

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government will look into the artificial shortage of some basic goods and arbitrary price hikes by some shops and dealers, with a view to taking corrective measures, the President has said.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at Harare International Airport on his return from the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Mugabe said he was aware of saboteurs who wanted to incite people to revolt against the Government ahead of next year’s harmonised elections by way of creating artificial shortages of basic goods.

Some of the people behind the shortages, President Mugabe said, might be from the ruling Zanu-PF.

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“Takanzwawo kuti zvinhu zvashota,” he said to wild applause from the crowd.

“Tinova neruzivo rwekuti pane vanenge vachida kuti zvinhu zvikanganisike, vanhu vomukira hurumende, isu tisipo. Asi vanhu vedu vakachenjera, havanyengerwi nemutowo iwoyo. Mapepa (cash) iwayo totadza kumawana kana ingava fuel yedzimota igonzi yashota?

“Ndauyaka, tichazvitarisa. Angave mashortages anganzi angatadzwa kugadziriswa in one day or two? Musanyanye kuchema henyu, kunoita ny’any’a pakati pedu, ndozvazvinoita. Tochenjera. Dzimwe nguva ndevaunonwa navo vanoda kuti zvinhu zvishate, asi tomira tese takabatana, tese tiri mugwara, tochiteerera gwara ratinokutungamirirai.

“Tinotenda, tirambe takadaro, takabatana kusvika iye zvino pamutambo wedu wemaelections toda kusvika ikoko tichiratidza kuti takabatana. Mashortages aya tinomaongorora, tichazvipedza zvese,” President Mugabe said.

Panic buying begun on Saturday morning following claims on social media on alleged impending shortages of basic commodities.

Some of the messages projected a gloomy economic situation in the country, with some tabloids claiming that the economic challenges of 2008 had returned.

On Sunday, general dealers in Glen View, Harare, and parts of Chitungwiza were reportedly selling 2-litre bottles of cooking oil for between $5 and $8,50 from $3,39.

Hardware shops selling building materials in Mbare lost business yesterday due to price distortions.

Some customers rejected the ridiculous prices and terms of trade.

Moto Steel, which sells deformed bars and other steel materials in Mbare, was demanding only United States dollars, with no price list for transfers or bond notes and coins.

A snap survey by The Herald in Harare on Sunday showed that Steel Centre was taking bond notes, but had doubled prices of its merchandise.

For 12-millimetre deformed bars, Steel Centre was charging US$3 each and $6 bond notes.

It was neither accepting swipe nor Ecocash transactions.

Sure Cast Cement (42,5) was increased from $11,80 per 50kg bag to $12 at hardware shops at Manyame Park Complex in Chitungwiza, while the price of a PPC PC15 (32,5) bag of cement rose from $10,70 to $10,90 yesterday.

Long queues were observed at filling stations like Total and Puma where they were accepting all forms of payment.

Smaller dealers were demanding cash only.

At Mashwede Service Station near Matapi Police Station in Mbare, fuel attendants were demanding cash and turned away motorists who wanted to use swipe cards or Ecocash.

Glow Petroleum service stations in and around the city were also demanding cash while Trek Service Station along Seke Road turned away motorists who wanted to use bank cards claiming the system was down.

Over the weekend, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said it had increased foreign currency allocation for basic and essential commodities to curtail threats of shortages.

RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya said the central bank would allocate an additional US$30 million a week for basic and essential commodities imports, with an additional US$15 million being spent on fuel and electricity imports.

He said the injection of additional foreign currency followed marginal increases in prices of goods and commodities in most shops in Harare fuelled by speculative social media reports of impending shortages.

The development triggered panic buying and illegal monetary transactions.

Dr Mangudya dismissed suggestions that most basic commodities were beginning to disappear from shop shelves.

The RBZ has also introduced a US$600 million Nostro Stabilisation Facility from Cairo-headquartered African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) to start addressing the foreign currency deficit on the market.

The nostro stabilisation facility is meant to deal with ongoing delays in the processing of foreign payments by banks for the procurement of productive imports as part of a raft of measures to stabilise the economy.

The facility will cover the foreign currency gap that widened after the closure of the 2017 tobacco marketing season.

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  • Chamunorwa

    We do not need to blame anyone for our misfortunes. For decades, we have had a political class that is motivated by pure greed. That class rides roughshod over the interests of the public.

  • Trymore Chimurenga

    Hello price controls!

    • Hombarume

      Hello food shortages,
      Welcome back 2008….

  • Ijaha leNkabazwe

    Price controls equals empty shelves just allow our cross border traders to do their craft. Just dump the ‘bond note’ and accept you have failed as indeed you have failed

  • Bert

    Looks like Dr Grace and Mr President had yet another fantastic shopping trip, a well deserved retreat. And so happy they’re back to fix this artificial problem created by the greedy people of Zimbabwe. There’s no problems in Zimbabwe, we can easily afford to buy mansions in sandton and limousines for our kids, why are you agents claiming forex shortages? Also there is plenty of cake to go around for those that claim to be hungry.

    • Zvakwana

      And Diamond rings from Dubai…

  • kutototo

    Runonzi rudooo, rudooo.

    • yowe

      Kkkkk love iri kupisa shuwa iyi

  • Rasta!

    History repeating itself….buckle up, it is going to be a wild ride.

  • Ticha

    Economics 101 not economic terrorism ! The governor had told you there is a shortage of fx, what did you think would happen to prices of imported goods?

  • Doug SA

    Government will look into the artificial shortage of some basic goods and arbitrary price hikes by some shops and dealers, with a view to taking corrective measures, the President has said which = acceleration of the shortages!!! Lol He never learns.

  • Citizen

    Tv Sales and Home should be investigated first ,their prices went up by almost 300%

  • Hombarume

    Its an embarsment to hear the old man say its sabortage…
    But first start with your own sabotage, 70 people to UN.
    You step son buys two Bentleys.
    You all go out for medical care.
    You are buying new cars.
    The shortage is because you are externalising the money which we are sending there.

  • runyararo munhuweyi

    Nhai can someone enlighten me, what are artificial shortages? To me it appears if our things were in order, none of this would happen. And I have experienced price increases first hand. Its not like these press reports from what you call tabloids are false anyway….

  • Muonesi Mukuru

    Cry my beloved country! Sabotage sabotage what sabotage? Stop insulting our intelligence! Enough is enough!

  • Humphrey

    Madii kuti adzoka ari pa airport yake, hanti makachinja zita here paya

  • Cde Mgagao

    Zvino wazobuda pachena kuti uri Lacoste. KKKkkkkki

  • Progressive Zimbabwean

    There is something I could not comprehend yesterday from the tone of the president. He appeared to imply that now that he is back he and would solve the issue as if to say in his absence no one was able to resolve the issue. He also exhibited a worrying failure to grasp that the issue was not such that he could just declare the preferred route things were supposed to take. These are economic matters that need realistic solutions that will not plunge us deeper into problems. Whether or not the president was present it is my view that the situation would still have prevailed. It is not an event but a process that started months ago and was bound to come to this. We need to be realistic because in economic matters what the market perceives as real is actually what matters. We need to therefore address fundamentals that hinge on the restoration of confidence and trust in the system. Some of us have been faithful to the country and the party and have proffered advice that has unfortunately fallen on deaf ears as people have been obsessed with power at the expense of the people’s aspirations. We did mention at some point that we are spending a lot of time and effort on personal power and positions at the expense of national development and few would listen. Those that listened were numb and could not call their colleagues to order. For that and the fact that we have continued to overspend we are where we are today on the eve of elections. Zanu PF is a team and the government is a team. The President is a team leader who works in intricate interdependent system. He is an important cog but he does not function alone but works with others. His leadership fails if people are disjointed and fighting.

  • Collin

    Gono cannot utter a word about Bonds because his policies during his time broke the inflation record in the world.

  • sky

    It was proven in 2006-2008 that price ceilings do not work. Shops will remain empty.

  • ZISO

    policies are not made in stadiums or airports.you people have offices why don’t you use your offices, so that we have the correct info.Mangudya we don’t need your statemence we need fuel in filling stations.it is true there is shortage of fuel, check how many filling stations have fuel. it is unfortunate that in 2008 social media was not as good as now.you would have long gone my bro & sisters. we don’t about allocations by Mangudya RBZ it is clear they are meant for zanu pf campaines 2018.tinozviziva kuti hatilume. so don’t lie to zimbabwe.come open tell the truth.

  • GetRealPF

    Herald, correct your headline, these price hikes are not illegal… it’s market forces at play, simple…

    They are as legal as the sanctions = 100% legal

    There is NOTHING that RGM can do to stop it, it’s too late now

  • revai

    not so long ago,actually yesterday,the headline in this paper was shops resist hiking prices.and the independent papers were labelled as liars.and the president says this.what is really happening in beloved Zimbabwe?

  • Gary WekuZviyambe

    Correct headline: President to do nothing about price hikes. OR President to blame everyone else other than the government for price hikes

  • Tambai Mese Mujairane

    The Central bank will now have to prioritise the allocation of foreign currency to supermarkets nd Fst moving consumer goods traders, who were for the recent months/weeks, telling the Central bank that they were not getting the forex,

    Then after prioritising the forex needs, do away with the priority list please it does not work, it is causing bottlenecks, look @ these shortages now, they cause unnecessary panick.

    Withdraw the bond notes, but do not publish that you have(For your pride, ), we do not need them, they do not work.

  • Moses Banda

    use the rand once

    • Tsotso

      No money works in Zimbabwe my bro.
      Not under the leadership of zanu pf. That rand will be trash in a week

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    Precisely

  • Hombarume

    You dont applaud, unonzi uri mutengesi