GRAIN Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) will this week embark on a joint national price monitoring initiative to curb price distortion and ensure compliance with recommended prices of basic commodities, GMAZ Ethics and Compliance Committee chairperson Mr Alvin Mparutsa has said.
Briefing the media in Harare yesterday, Mr Mparutsa said millers, have an obligation of protecting consumers from unscrupulous business people.
“GMAZ and CZR are jointly undertaking a national price monitoring initiative to curb price distortions and ensuring compliance on prices of mealie meal, rice, salt,sugar beans and flour-related products,” he said.
“This initiative is a self-regulation mechanism by industry players and should not be confused with price control, which is conducted by a third party, who in most cases would not be involved in the production chain of the concerned industry.
“Millers, as the suppliers of the said basic commodities, have a moral obligation of protecting consumers from unwarranted price increases by some unscrupulous business dealers and monitoring prices of these commodities is one such a way,” Mr Mparutsa said.
He said starting this week GMAZ secretariat will be moving around towns and cities, holding meetings with retailers explaining to them the objective of the initiative.
“We will start by engaging Bulawayo retailers, followed by those in Gweru before moving to Mutare and Masvingo, just to mention a few.
“Our major thrust will be that of hearing from them (retailers) the challenges they may be facing that could be making it difficult for them to comply with prices we agreed on our products, and we are doing this so that we amicably move together and eradicate price distortions,” he said.
He appealed to the business community to work and comply with the monitoring team which will be deployed soon.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe chairman Mr Phillip Bvumbe weighed in saying it is imperative to consumers to be protected from some elements in the business community who are profiteering.
He said the price monitoring initiative will help consumers to access basics at reasonable and affordable price.
He reiterated that the exercise is not a price control initiative.