Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Denford Mutashu has accused manufacturers of stockpiling goods and releasing the goods onto the black market instead of supplying the formal retailers. Mutashu welcomed the government’s decision to suspend import restrictions saying that this would allow retailers to get their own stocks. Speaking to the Sunday Mail, Mutashu said
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Suppliers were holding retailers at ransom by refusing to release products to the market so they could divert it to some black market cartels, and consumers would blame the shortages on retailers…But now we can buy on our own and ensure there is product availability for consumers. We will always prioritise local products and will only import to augment local supplies to avoid shortages…The situation had gone terrible but we are optimistic this should benefit consumers as well as bring price stability. People cannot get into the festive season without basics.
However, president Oil Expressers Association of Zimbabwe chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo denied the allegations saying,
…This is completely false, (that the shortages are a result of manufacturers holding on to their products). However, there is a lot of rent-seeking behaviour on our cooking oil products by small retailers, hoarders, arbitrageurs and rent-seekers. We have maintained prices thus far but the distortion and fake news onslaught has reached epic proportions. On cooking oil, we have maintained supplies based on what we have been offered by the RBZ.
More: Sunday Mail