Retail shops have been ordered to implement, with immediate effect, a price freeze on all basic commodities for the duration of the 21-day lockdown that kicks off at midnight today.
Retailers who fail to comply with the directive will be closed indefinitely. The development was confirmed by Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Mr Denford Mutashu on Saturday. He said:
Basic commodity price increases are frozen as a sector contribution measure to Zimbabweans who have to date supported our businesses through good and hard times.
Retail outlets that will increase prices of basic commodities during this difficult time will be closed indefinitely.
Mutashu also revealed that goods covered under the directive are sugar, cooking oil, salt, mealie-meal, meat, sanitary pads, bottled water, pharmaceutical products, rice, masks, sanitary gloves, sanitisers and washing soaps.
The order comes after some retail shops last week increased prices of most basic commodities after people started panic buying in anticipation of a lockdown that was eventually announced by President Mnangagwa on Friday.