Industry and Commerce Minister Sekai Nzenza said that the moratorium on prices increases agreed on by the government and businesses during the COVID-10 crisis had not worked.
Nzenza made the admission on Thursday when she appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Industry and Commerce chaired by Chimanimani East MP Joshua Sacco. She said:
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This agreement with VP Mohadi was done in good faith and based on moral suasion, but what we have noted is that the moratorium on the increase in prices has not worked and I want to admit that it is partly because of the cost of production, lack of foreign currency to bring raw materials needed for production and some of the borders have closed and prices have remained high.
Nzenza accused retailers and manufacturers of engaging in rent-seeking behaviour and showing no sympathy to consumers. She said:
Another point is to do with behaviour and monetary practices, where retailers and manufacturers have not been sympathetic to consumers and we are witnessing rent-seeking behaviour which is affecting inflating and parallel market rates which change on a daily basis and is difficult to control.
She revealed that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had an urgent meeting with fiscal and monetary authorities to address the issue of rising inflation and a fall in the value of the local currency and a positive announcement will be made soon.