The government on Tuesday pleaded with bakers to reconsider their decision to unilaterally hike the price of bread by around 90 per cent without notifying the consumers ahead of time or consulting authorities.
Speaking to the media soon after a Cabinet meeting in Harare on Tuesday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa said:
The Minister of Industry and Commerce presented to Cabinet a letter by the Bakers Association of Zimbabwe, stating their intention to immediately hike the price of bread without any recourse to consultations with the Government as is the normal procedure.
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Of particular concern to Cabinet also is the timing of the planned price increase, which is coming exactly two days before the national Independence celebrations.
Such a move, whether by design or otherwise, certainly has the effect of dampening the mood of the nation.
Furthermore, the unilateral action does not bode well to ongoing efforts by Government to engage in dialogue with all stakeholders, business included, with a view to creating a stable environment where businesses can compete and thrive.
As such, unilateral price hikes, particularly on basic commodities that our people cannot do without is not in consonance with the spirit of mutual engagement that Government is encouraging.
Cabinet, therefore, calls on the Bakers Association of Zimbabwe to defer the planned hike in the price of bread in order to allow the normal mutual consultations to take place.
The public woke to a sudden bread price hike on Tuesday as bakers colluded to set the price of a single standard loaf of bread from $2.00 to $3.50.
The move was a bolt from the blue as bakers normally notify consumers of an imminent price increase.