Government laments price hikes, profiteering

29 Apr, 2019 - 00:04 0 Views
Government laments price hikes, profiteering Cde Lovemore Matuke

The Chronicle

Columbus Mabika, Harare Bureau

Government is working hard to ensure that workers are cushioned against the unjustified increases in prices of goods and services.

In an interview with our Harare Bureau ahead of the Workers’ Day commemorations on Wednesday, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lovemore Matuke said Government is working on measures to deal with price hikes and profiteering which have affected the majority of workers.

“Last week President Mnangagwa said the prices increase madness should stop forthwith and urged businesses to have a human face by desisting from the act,” he said.

“The new administration led by President Mnangagwa has made the welfare of workers its top priority and is also working to ensure better relations between the private sector and the Government.

“This is in recognition of the unique role that workers play in delivering Government policies.”

Cde Matuke said the scenario of price hikes and profiteering posed a serious challenge to Government and other employers to keep workers motivated, happy and satisfied.

 Apart from ensuring a public sector that is professional, Cde Matuke said, Government was committed to zero tolerance to corruption.

“As encapsulated in the Second Republic plans, we are irrevocably committed to the creation of an effective, efficient, highly skilled, merit-driven and integrity-based public service.

“Our goal is to build a public sector management driven by professionalism, projects performance and zero tolerance to corruption because, that is the only way we can entrench good governance in the polity and needless to say, we need the support and cooperation of the labour movement to make this goal a reality,” he said.

He commended Zimbabwean workers, especially, for their dedication to duty, which has contributed to building the country since independence in 1980.

“Through their belief, sacrifice and hardwork, we have managed to make great strides as a State since our Independence in 1980,” he said

Cde Matuke urged workers to continuously uphold and strengthen the values of honesty, commitment, transparency, fiscal discipline, and excellence in service delivery to enable the country to actualise plans to turn around the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.

Meanwhile, Government will this week meet bakers and millers to discuss the recent increase in bread prices which it feels is unfair and unjustified.

Deputy Minister of Land, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Vangelis Haritatos confirmed the development on Friday.

He said Government will be meeting bakers this week to resolve the issue of bread prices which Government feels is now beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans.

“As Government we believe in engagement and so in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce we intend to meet the representatives of the National Association Bakers of Zimbabwe and their members so that  we address this problem for the mutual benefit of both the bakers and consumers,” he said.

Deputy Miniser Haritatos said the aim of the meeting is to reduce the price of bread to affordable levels.

“Hopefully we will come to an agreement to reduce the price of bread so that we have on the market a price that’s affordable to the public and at the same time allowing the bakers to make a profit,” he said.

Deputy Minister Haritatos said Government was of the view that the bread price increase was unfair and unjustified hence it has called for the meeting with bakers and their representatives.

“We feel that the bread price increase was unjustified. We did announce new producer prices but remember we are giving 38,5 percent discount to our millers and as such the price of bread should be between RTGS$2 and RTGS$2,50 and not RTGS$3 and RTGS$3,50,” he said.

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