The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe yesterday set maximum wholesale and retail prices for maize and wheat flours, rice and salt produced by its members across the country in line with Government’s recent price monitoring programme. Earlier this month Government placed cooking oil, mealie-meal, bread, flour, sugar, rice, salt, chicken, eggs, beef, fresh milk, laundry soaps, washing powder, cement, fuel and energy under monitoring in terms of their pricing models.
Subsequently, the miller’s representative body has listed five products, which include mealie-meal, rice, salt, cake flour and self-raising flour under their price recommendations. In a statement, GMAZ national chairman Tafadzwa Msarara said; “ In compliance with the Minister of Industry and Commerce the milling industry through its representative body GMAZ wish to advise the consumer public the maximum recommended price on mealie-meal, rice, salt, flour and cake flour,” he said.
According to GMAZ, roller meal 5kg packet’s wholesale price is $2,30, retail price is $2,53; 10kg $4,60 (wholesale), $5,06 (retail); 20kg $9,00 (wholesale) and $9,90 (retail). Flour (self-raising) 1kg $0,90 (wholesale); $1,00 (retail); 2kg $1,80 (wholesale); $2,07 (retail); 5kg $4,50 (wholesale) and $5,18 (retail). Rice (par boiled 2kg) $2,67 and $3,29 wholesale and retail respectively, Value White Rice 2kg $2,44 and $2,89. Fine salt 1kg $0,55 and $0,65 wholesale and retail respectively while course salt 1 kg $0,84 (wholesale) and $0,99 (retail). Mr Musarara indicated that the price monitoring programme intends to do away with cases of speculation and profiteering by retailers.
“The price monitoring programme, which is under government watch is meant to arrest possible instances of profiteering and speculation,” said Mr Musarara. The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe, however, highlighted that there has been general stability in pricing of flour and maize meal since 2008. Mr Musarara pledged to support government endeavours in having stable pricing in the retail sector.
“For the record, prices of flour and maize meal have remained generally stable since 2008 and GMAZ fully support this programme as it seeks cooperation of industry and not to control,” he said. The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Mike Bimha, is on record saying the price monitoring programme is designed to solve the rampant illegal price increases as it is government’s duty to protect the nation from unfair pricing and profiteering.
However, a quick survey carried out in the Central Business District revealed that stores are pricing products with stipulated ranks although some products should be priced downwards. TM Pick n Pay charges $2,59 for a 5kg bag of Roller Meal, a 2 kg bag of value white rice was at $3,19 and self-raising flour 2kg was priced at $2,19.