Takunda Maodza Manicaland Bureau Chief
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has urged Zimbabweans to shun businesses that overprice their products and warned that Government was taking measures to effectively deal with such operators.
Some business operators have been overcharging their products, marking prices against the US dollar black market rate.
This has seriously eroded the consumers’ buying power.
Addressing villagers at Kondo Primary School in Chipinge on Monday, President Mnangagwa said reduction in prices had been noticed in some shops, but some were still charging exorbitant prices.
President Mnangagwa vowed that measures would be taken against such businesses.
“If there are some business operators still charging exorbitant prices, just shun them and go for those who have reduced their prices,” said President Mnangagwa while speaking in the vernacular.
“We say no to overcharging. We are taking measures against those in that practice.”
President Mnangagwa said the measures to be taken against the unscrupulous business operators would be tough.
He said some shop owners were reducing prices, while the US dollar exchange rate was declining on the black market.
“I am getting information that in some areas they are reducing prices in line with the reduction in the exchange rate,” he said.
“Since we banned the use of multiple currency, the rate on the black market is coming down. It was around 13, but now some have pegged it at seven, others at eight, but it’s continuing to come down.”
President Mnangagwa took the opportunity to explain to the villagers measures taken recently by Government banning the multi-currency system which resulted in unjustifiable price increases.
He said it was important for Zimbabwe to have its own currency.
“We were the only country in the world without its own currency,” he said.
“We were using other countries’ currencies. In South Africa they use the rand, in Botswana they have the pula, in Mozambique they have the metical. In good and bad times, they still maintain their metical.
“In Zambia, it’s the same, they have their kwacha. They print it when they feel it’s necessary. They have control over the currency. In Tanzania they have the shilling and Malawi also has its own currency.”
President Mnangagwa noted that no country economically prospers without its own currency.
“That is why we intervened with banning the use of multi-currency after realising that the prices were now going up regularly,” he said.
“We have banned the use of US dollars, rands in shops and other businesses. If you possess US dollars, pounds or rands you will not be arrested.
“If you want to use them you have to convert them to local currency at the bank.”