Monetary policy must address pricing crisis

The monetary policy to be delivered by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr John Mangudya, today should address events of the past few weeks that saw prices of some basic commodities being increased.

The RBZ should be clear on how it is going to deal with the unwarranted price increases on basic goods, a situation that has left many dumbfounded.

Ordinary people, whose incomes are already eroded, have been failing to cope with the price increases that have added more pressure to their purse.

The downside of these price increases is that they come at a time no employer is prepared to increase workers’ salaries, citing the economic environment under which businesses operate.

What this means is that it is the workers and the ordinary people, who are already struggling to make ends meet, that are being affected by these price hikes.

Retailers should be made to account for every price increase they effect and convince the authorities that the hikes are necessary.

But events of the last few weeks clearly demonstrated that unscrupulous retailers have been increasing prices unilaterally, as they focus on attaining higher profit margins.

Our observation is that the price increases are not justified in most instances, considering that the RBZ has been availing foreign currency to some retailers.

The monetary policy today should be able to address this problem and come up with measures that will ensure retailers revert to old prices, or at least justify why the increases have to be effected.

We expect the RBZ to summon all instruments at its disposal to ensure that retailers do not burden their customers with unjustified price increases. Gone should be the days when some people connive to increase prices without a justifiable cause.

Business should not be solely concerned with maximum profits, without considering the state of the economy and the low buying power of their customers.

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