Government has accused local retail shops for causing the artificial shortages of basic commodities have been observed in the country recently.
Speaking during a post cabinet press briefing, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that a survey conducted by the government found that most basic commodities are generally available both in formal and informal retail shops.
“From the survey taken, most basic commodities are generally available both in formal and informal retail shops although there are artificial shortages which have been observed for some locally-produced goods, especially in formal retail shops.
“This is an indication of speculative forward pricing. Consumers are being forced to buy goods that they don’t need in formal retail outlets which are refusing to mix the United States dollar transactions with Zimbabwean dollars. To address this the nation is being assured that the Quality Assurance and Trade Measures Department in the Industry and Commerce ministry is conducting an enforcement grip on the quality and measurements of basic commodities and issuing appropriate fines,” Mutsvangwa said.
The artificial shortages of basic commodities are the latest in a series of economic challenges facing Zimbabwe.
The country is currently experiencing high inflation, which is making it difficult for people to afford basic necessities.
Recently, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube introduced a number of steps to address the economic crisis, but it remains to be seen whether these measures will be effective.
Among other issues, the Minister lifted the ban on the importation of all basic commodities.