The government is closely monitoring the use of subsidised bread-making flour availed to millers and bakers to prevent bread price hikes.
Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) spokesperson, Garikai Chaunza, said:
We (millers) are currently enjoying a subsidy of $2 300 per tonne of wheat to be exclusively dedicated for bread flour only.
This is meant to stabilise and contain bread prices for the benefit of the consumers who are the financiers of the subsidy and it is our obligation that the flour must go to all bakeries, big and small who are into genuine bread baking and as an association, we have always been on guard.
However, the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe has denied claims that its members are creating artificial shortages of bread as an excuse to hike prices.
Association president Dennis Wallah argued that there are several factors other than the price of flour that pushes up the price of bread. He said:
There are still challenges in terms of accessing bread flour. Find out with millers if they have flour enough for everyone. Kindly come and check our silos and see if we have enough flour stocks.
Of course, there are other factors necessitating bread price hikes. Look at fuel; it is going up almost on a weekly basis.