The price increases by retailers have been condemned by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) and long suffering civil servants who received their bonus last week.
A survey by Radio Vop reveals that most prices of basic goods have gone up, with for example, a 2litre bottle of Mazoe, which was selling at US2.50 now retailing at US$2.78 to US$3.
A 2litre bottle of cooking oil that was selling at US$2.90 is now going for US$3.58 while a wide range of basic commodities have also gone up by similar margins.
CCZ executive director, Rosemary Siyachitema said the price increases, though low in percentage, were huge in monetary value for the ordinary worker.
“The basket in total for the month of November has increased to US$498,53 while in October it was at US$491,28 reflecting a 0,01 percent increase.
“In percentage terms, the increase can be little but monetary wise it’s a big increase for a general person,” Siyachitema said in an interview.
CCZ Regional Manager, Comfort Muchekeza, added: “Our monitors on the field have noted that there are increases, especially with basic commodities,” he said.
“An example is cooking oil that has been retailing at $2 something and has suddenly gone up to $3 something. We are yet to collate all the figures and make a comparison.”
Retailers Association of Bulawayo (RAB) Secretary General, Simba Phiri, also confirmed that the association’s members were unjustifiably increasing prices of most basic goods ahead of the festive season.
RAB represents small to medium scale retailers, mostly located in residential areas and some parts of the city centre.
“We cannot deny that there are some unscrupulous members who would want to take advantage of the bonus period.
“Any member, that we will find doing that, will be disciplined according to our constitution. We are going to make rounds and put emphasis on how our membership should operate,” he said.