President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ruled out price controls and says the government will instead negotiate with business to find a solution.
“We are very concerned as government about the general prices on the market. I had a meeting yesterday with the Minister of Industry Dr Bimha to call the manufacturers, sellers and retailers and discuss with them,” he told The Herald.
“We don’t think it is good to go for legislation; we need to come to an understanding and have the people in these categories appreciate where we are coming from and where we want to go.
“They must have a human face. They mustn’t be profiteering because in some cases we find the same article is sold at this price in this shop, different from that shop. Why should the difference be 15-20 percent on one item? We have to interrogate those issues.”
Prices of some commodities have gone up by as much as 300 percent allegedly because of the shortage of foreign currency. Suppliers say they are obtaining their foreign currency on the black market which is expensive.
Price controls in the past have been disastrous as they have led to the disappearance of goods on the shelves only to reappear on the black market at even higher prices.
Price controls also scare investors as they believe the market should determine prices.
Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe is now open for business and is trying to attract as many investors as possible to create much needed jobs.