Retailers feel heat from smuggled goods 22 buses were intercepted at police checkpoints on roads leading to Harare and Bulawayo from Beitbridge recently. According to border officials, the buses were carrying an assortment of smuggled goods. — Pictures: Thupeyo Muleya

Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has bemoaned the proliferation of smuggled goods on the market which is disadvantaging those involved in standard business practices in terms of pricing.

The retailers’ group implored Government to revisit the ban of second hand vehicles older than 10 years, a move they say has caused a steep increase of vehicles’ prices.

In a statement, CZR said the growing informal sector had become a safe haven for smuggled goods ranging from spare parts, groceries, hardware goods and electronic gadgets.

“The country’s porous borders continue to undermine industry growth, as well as the tariff protection efforts,” said CZR. “Of particular concern is the Beitbridge Border Post.

“We highly recommend that Government urgently establish a joint working committee incorporating various stakeholders including government, security forces, retail sector, manufacturers, civil society, transporters association, and others, to investigate smuggling at the ports of entry and illegal crossing points and then take concrete corrective measures to redress the anomaly.”

On the importation of second hand vehicles, CZR said authorities could consider road worthiness rather than date of manufacture.

“The ban on motor vehicle imports more than 10 years from date of manufacturer is a decision that should be revisited as it has only succeeded in raising the cost of motor vehicles in an economy already grappling with weak demand,” said CZR.

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