President of CRZ praises government

Capitalk Reporter/ Valeria Mhandu |  8 months ago | local

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu, is happy with the government's foreign currency auction system, which is helping retailers and wholesalers to remain in business.

He said the retail industry was still reeling from the COVID-19 effects.

Speaking during a ‘retailers and wholesalers’ indaba yesterday in Harare, Mutashu said there was a need for the government and retailers to continually work together to improve the impacts of COVID-19.

"The government and business operators should continue to work together to improve the pricing of goods and services, reducing the negative impact of the multiple exchange rates, illegal parallel market exchange rates, inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, availability of foreign currency and improving the ease of doing business," Mutashu said.

He also urged retailers and wholesalers to avoid being overly dependent on supplies from other countries, which was also influencing price increases.

The ‘retailers and wholesalers" indaba is held annually to deliberate on viability issues affecting the sector as well as to come up with possible solutions.

This year’s indaba was held under the theme "Promoting Local Currency Use Through Exchange Rate Management, Pricing, and Inflation Stability".

An economist, Dr. Reneth Mano, also expressed similar sentiments on the impact of imported goods.

"The private sector is acquiring foreign currency to import products that are being produced locally, and this is causing a surge in pricing," he said.

He also called for structural adjustments and support for small-scale farmers.

"What needs to be done to small-scale farmers is just refinement and packaging of products they (small-scale farmers) produce, which will add value," Dr. Mano said.

He acknowledged that small-scale farmers were doing much better than some of those on larger farms.

"The country can tame inflation as long as the right thing is being done."

"We have the ingredients to tame this inflation."

He acknowledged the consequences of the Ukraine and Russia conflicts, but urged citizens to remain vigilant.

The Chief Director in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Dr. Douglas Runyowa, who was representing Permanent Secretary Dr. Mavis Sibanda, said his ministry has noticed the skyrocketing prices.

He promised to take action on retail shops which were displaying prices which consumers paid different from what consumers paid at the till points.

"We have come up with National Development and Local Content Policies that seek to promote local production and value addition.

"As a Ministry (we make) a clarion call to our industries to join hands with the government in entrenching local production of goods so as to eliminate imported inflation," Runyowa said.