A visit by this publication at Jambanja Shopping Centre in Unit L Seke, Chitungwiza saw some vendors charging US$6 per 10kg of subsidised mealie-meal while in Unit J some were charging US$3 per 10 kilogrammes of the same brand.
The development has prompted Chitungwiza residents to appeal to government to deal with individuals selling subsidised mealie-meal in foreign currency. One of the residents only identified as Mai Mairosi pleaded with relevant authorities to protect them from people taking advantage of the national lockdown to milk others.
“Coronavirus has affected the whole world and to us it is a call to unite in fighting the pandemic but our neighbours are taking advantage of the crisis to empty our pockets by charging exorbitant prices on basic goods,” said Mai Mairosi. “Government is making every effort to bring the basic commodities especially mealie-meal at an affordable price but others are busy hoarding it for resale.
“We have selected houses in this neighbourhood where mealie-meal is being sold at US$6 and this is daylight robbery that we are appealing to relevant authorities to arrest such greedy people.
One of the people who was selling the mealie-meal defended himself saying his brother was the one who gave him to sell on his behalf. “It is true that we selling mealie-meal but the owner of the goods is my brother who gave me to sell it on his behalf and he want the money in foreign currency,” he said refusing to identify himself.
In Zengeza at Gazaland Shopping Centre, residents were in a winding queue at a supermarket where they accused shop authorities of withholding the mealie-meal to allow more sales on other commodities to reach their daily targets.
“We have been asked to wait and one of the tellers openly told us that they want to reach their daily targets before selling mealie-meal,” said one of the disgruntled shoppers. “I do not know what target of money are they expected to meet daily which are forcing residents to gather here and disregarding the social distance.
“Varikutiunganidzira kusvitsa mari yavanotemerwa saka Covid-19 ingatadzesei kutibata isutichiswedzwa pano,” she said directing the writer to confront police officers who were controlling the queue.
Although shoppers were being sanitized before entering the supermarket, social distance was not being observed at the long winding queue. Some shoppers ended up buying super refined mealie-meal which was in abundance after giving up to follow the queue.HMetro