MASVINGO–In a development that increasingly spells doom for the Zimbabwean dollar, Gain which is one of the country’s biggest wholesalers is rejecting payment in local currency for a number of commodities.
This left many customers, particularly farmers who wanted to buy inputs and stock feeds stranded and people who spoke to The Mirror have called upon the Government to intervene particularly where it concerns basic commodities and agricultural inputs.
Customers said they were shocked this week when till operators refused to swipe for agricultural inputs including stock feeds. The wholesaler is also demanding foreign currency payments for cooking oil and sugar.
Gain Cash and Carry public relations executive Esther Gambakwe confirmed the development to The Mirror and said the wholesaler’s pricing system is determined by the supplier’s invoice.
“Yes, we are charging certain products in US dollars depending on our supplier’s invoice. We buy some of these in foreign currency and customers also have to pay in US dollars,” said Gambakwe.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Clemence Chiduwa said Government cannot intervene because there is no price control in the country.
“It is difficult for Government to intervene because we don’t have price controls. Our policy is clear; we are using multi-currency and businesses should have prices in various currencies. There are lots of factors influencing pricing and these may force the market to use the US dollar.
“Fertiliser is manufactured from imported commodities, especially from Russia and Ukraine. Government is of course particularly sensitive to the farming sector hence programmes like pfumvudza, the National Agriculture Enhanced Scheme (NAES), and Presidential Inputs Scheme to ensure that agricultural activities are not disrupted,” said Chiduwa.
Zimbabwe Consumer Council (ZCC) Masvingo Regional Manager Ndumiso Mgutshini said prices are stable in US dollars and there is a need for increased income in US dollars to meet the market demand.https://masvingomirror.com/