The price of sugar has increased by about 18% to $2,25 per 2 kg pack over the past few days due to rising costs of production as well as cost of money, NewsDay has established.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CRZ) president Denford Mutashu said the sugar price increase was unwelcome but inevitable under the current spiralling foreign currency shortage environment.
“The price increase in sugar has been attributed to rising costs of production, packaging costs, producer costs and cost of money as defined by the current exponential forex parallel market rates that have skyrocketed and shot through the 80% cap,” he said.
“In a survey carried by CZR, the retail price of sugar has moved up from average $1,90 per 2kg to the current $2,25 per 2kg. The wholesale prices average $20,50 per 20kg, up from $18,60 per carton.”
A snap survey conducted by NewsDay indeed confirmed the increment in the wholesale and retail prices of sugar.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Matabeleland regional manager Comfort Muchekeza said the increases, could have been necessitated by the forthcoming elections as well as civil servants salary increment.
“We are moving back to the old days whereby each time when government would announce salary increase for civil servants, prices of basic commodities would also increase,” he said.
“Whilst we agree that there should be price adjustments, I don’t think they should go beyond 10%. We have never witnessed anything like that since dollarisation. As such, the increases are uncalled for.”
Muchekeza said some of the businesses were pushing political agendas for certain politicians.
“We have also realised that during election period, some businesses usually increase prices to sabotage other political parties. Businesses should remain apolitical. They should not use consumers to fight for them,” he said.