Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) says the price of mealie-meal should come down following President Mnangagwa’s directive that the subsidy on maize must be restored.
Initially Government had announced that a subsidy on maize sold to millers had been removed and this saw the price of mealie-meal in some supermarkets increasing by 100 percent from between $55 and $58 per 10 kilogrammes.
Addressing youths at the 2019 national youth convention in Kadoma last week, President Mnangagwa said mealie-meal and rice were basic commodities and removing the subsidy would negatively impact the lives of many people.
A snap survey carried out by this paper in the Central Business District in Bulawayo yesterday indicated that some retailers had limited supplies and were selling a 10kg bag of mealie-meal at between $100 and $120.
CZR president Mr Denford Mutashu commended the intervention by the President saying all stakeholders across the milling industry value chain should complement the move by reducing mealie-meal prices.
“The President’s intervention is greatly appreciated and millers, retailers and wholesalers should comply with the directive and save the suffering consumers.
“The intervention shows he (President Mnangagwa) indeed is a listening President after our concerns that the budget removed mealie-meal subsidies in a drought year,” he said.
Meanwhile, Government has suspended customs duty and scrapped import permits and licences for grain, maize meal and wheat flour to plug out potential food supply gaps and counter the effects of drought experienced in the last agricultural season.
Statutory Instrument 247 of 2019 — Customs and Excise (suspension/amendment) Regulations — has since been gazetted to give legal effect to the decision.
This now means that individuals and corporates can now import grain products duty-free without the need for a permit and the move covers a period of six months up to May 2020.
This is part of measures to cushion the milling industry and ease the burden on consumers. — @okazunga